The Venerable James T. Payne, D.D., MDiv, M.A., BA, AA
Third Rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury (1996-present)
A cradle Episcopalian, Father Payne was ordained Deacon in 1989 and Priest in 1990. He was called as interim Rector in 1995, and elected Rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury in 1996. Prior to his call to St. Thomas he assisted in the planting of several mission churches and taught at St. Nicholas Christian School. Prior to his ordination, he was employed in the banking industry as a loan officer for fifteen years.
Archdeacon Payne holds the Master of Divinity degree (2004) from Cummins Theological Seminary, an Institution of the Reformed Episcopal Church. Cummins is located in Charleston, S.C. He is also an alumnus of St. George's School of Theology (1990), San Antonio, Texas, (now located in El Paso), the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, (1976) and Lon Morris College (1972) located in Jacksonville, Texas. In 2008, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity Degree by the Theological Commission of the Reformed Episcopal Church.
In his previous career, he graduated from the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU (1984) and ABA National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma (1982). From 1982-1992, he taught college credit courses for the American Institute of Banking at several area community colleges, and was AIB teacher of the year in 1988. He also served on the National Curriculum Committee for the American Bankers association, Washington, D.C., from 1987-1988, helping to review and choose textbooks for courses taught by the ABA/AIB.
In addition to his pastoral and other priestly duties at St. Thomas, Dr. Payne serves as Archdeacon [a senior assistant to the Bishop] of the Diocese of Mid-America, and as one of the Examining Chaplains for candidates for Holy Orders. Dr. Payne is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Mid-America.
Prior to his appointment as Archdeacon, he served as Canon to the Ordinary and Secretary of the Diocese of Mid-America from 2000-2007.
He also serves the Reformed Episcopal Church at the national level as chairman of the Committee on Constitution and Canons. He is a member of the regular faculty at Cranmer Theological House, the diocesan seminary, where he teaches Church History. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the seminary.
Archdeacon Payne has been published in the U.S. Anglican, The Christian Challenge, and DEUS Reformed Episcopalians magazine. He is also the author of "Old Paths Restored" a history of the Episcopate of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and has written several published tracts. Together with Bishop George Fincke, he co-authored "A Catechism for Our Children". Archdeacon Payne and his wife, the former Deborah Ashley, of Dallas, Texas, have been married for over 40 years and have two grown children. He is active in Rotary and in several other civic and heritage organizations.