The Rev. Dr. Rian Adams [ Rosemary Lhotan | Contributed ]
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St. James Episcopal welcomes new priest

In an exciting development for the Port St. Joe faith community, St. James Episcopal Church has welcomed The Rev. Dr. Rian Adams and his family to their congregation. 

Adams’ arrival marks a significant milestone for the church, as it is the first time since the devastation of Hurricane Michael and retirement of Fr. Tommy Dwyer that the parish has had a full-time priest to lead and nurture their spiritual community.

Adams, along with wife Amber and their son Brody, brings to St. James a wealth of religious leadership and the experience he gained as a chaplain serving alongside conventional and special operation forces worldwide. His advocacy for the fair treatment of military personnel and veterans speaks to his commitment to a life of service.

Adams is fervent about engaging and collaborating with the people of Port St. Joe. “It is with great enthusiasm and a sense of divine call that I assume this role at St. James.” said Dr. Adams. “There is incredible potential here for congregational renewal and growth, which can make an impact on the lives of our parishioners and the wider community. My family and I are ready to embrace all the beauty and opportunities that Port St. Joe has to offer.”

St. James Episcopal Church, a historic and pivotal part of Port St. Joe since 1835, has long been a beacon for faith and companionship in the city. “The whole congregation is alive with excitement to welcome Rian, Amber, and Brody,” said Rosemary Lhotan, senior warden. “Although we are a small church, we believe Father Rian’s leadership and vision, and our congregation’s commitment to the church and the community, will usher in a fresh chapter of spiritual renewal for our congregation and its role in the community.”

St. James warmly invites members of the community to come together to celebrate this joyous new beginning. Attendees can expect revitalized services, positive and inspirational sermons, and a welcoming and affirming congregation.

“We cannot understate the importance of The Rev. Dr. Adams’ arrival,” said Benjy Gibson. “While we have faced challenges in recent years, his leadership symbolizes hope, not just for St. James but for the wider community that we serve.”

Established in 1835, St. James Episcopal Church is one of the oldest churches in Port St. Joe, offering spiritual guidance and community support for nearly two centuries. The church is deeply rooted in the fabric of the city and remains committed to its mission of spreading kindness, understanding, and spiritual enrichment.

For more information about St. James Episcopal Church and upcoming events, visit or contact Fr. Rian Adams at or 850-227-1845.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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