Rev. Jeff Queen, who grew up in South Webster, has been wanting to serve All Saints for a long time, he said.
“It was a wish come true,” Queen said. “You get one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to go back to the community that helped form you and you hope to give something back.”
He has been in the ministry for 16 years, with 12 in the Methodist Church.
“I like the liturgy, I like the rhythm of the church year beginning with Advent,” Queen said. “I really just fell in love with the prayer book. This is really the first church I was exposed to as a teenager.”
Even when he was a Methodist youth minister, he continued going to the Episcopal Church for communion, he said.
Queen went to Wilmington College and received his seminary degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton.
Most of his ministry centered around Wilmington or in the Cincinnati area. His last Methodist Church was in Mason, with a congregation of about 1,000 people. All Saints has a congregation of 170.
“Typically, the Episcopal Church has a smaller congregation,” Queen said. “There are pluses and minuses to both large congregations and small congregations. With small congregations, the great thing about it is you're family, you know everyone.”
When Queen changed to the Episcopal Church, the bishop put him in charge of starting a new congregation in the Mason area. He started St. Mary Magdalene church, and during his three years there, watched a new building being constructed.
“It was the fastest growing congregation in the diocese,” Queen said. “My hope is for the same thing here at All Saints - hopefully attracting folks it hasn't been able to attract in the past few years, not only younger families with children, but also a more diverse crowd as well. We have a growing ethnic population here in the city and I'm hoping to be able to reach out there as well.”
Another goal he has is to restructure the Sunday School program. The church serves the community with two programs. A Loaves and Fishes program is on the second, fourth and fifth Saturdays where they feed the homeless or anyone who needs a meal.
The church has been home to Alcoholics Anonymous for more than 60 years. He said it is the second oldest chapter in the state of Ohio.
“My goal is to build up the people who are here and provide classes for the congregation for spiritual and personal development,” Queen said. “And I'm hoping to strengthen some of the programs that are here.”
His wife, Richelle Thompson, is the director of communications for the church's Diocese of Southern Ohio, and she will be working out of an office in Portsmouth. They have two children, Madeline, 4 years old, and Griffin, 18 months.