St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Rome, Georgia


The Reverend John Foster Herring, Rector

The Rev. John F. Herring is the son of an Episcopal priest. He grew up in northern New Jersey where his father served as Rector at several parishes in the Diocese of Newark. A graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, John majored in political science.  After graduation John worked in several capacities in the business world from human resources, to recruiting and sales.

In 2005, John matriculated at the School of Theology at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and graduated in 2008 with a Masters of Divinity. He was ordained to the Diaconate in 2007 and to the Priesthood in 2008.  John served as Associate Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta for four years, overseeing youth, young adult, and street ministries.  He has been the Rector at St. Peter’s since August 2012.

John has served on several diocesan committees including finance, scholarship, campus ministry, and disciplinary canons; in addition, John served on the board of the Church of the Common Ground, a mission to Atlanta’s homeless.  He currently serves on the diocesan executive committee, and on the board of the William S. Davies Shelter here in Rome, Ga.

John and his wife Keri were married in 2001. They are parents to three children, Amelia, Madeline, and Lucas.  Also in their family is their Australian Shepherd, Dillon, and their two cats, Popoki and Deana.

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Reverend Nikki Mathis, Associate Rector 

Rev. Mathis is responsible for Children and Youth Ministries.  Previously, she served as the Associate Dean for Community Life at The School of Theology, Sewanee, University of the South, where she has served for the past year and a half. She served as the associate rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she ministered from June of 2008 until 2012.

Before entering the priesthood in 2008, Rev. Mathis worked as a licensed clinical social worker, enjoying a career that spanned nearly 20 years. During that time, her research earned publication in The Journal of Family Social Work. She received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, as well as two graduate degrees, a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity from The School of Theology, Sewanee, University of the South. She is also a graduate of the inaugural class of Project Rising Sun, a ministerial leadership program sponsored by the Fund for Theological Education. During her time at St. Paul’s, she also served as a member of the Executive Board for the Diocese of Atlanta, and she has served on the Title IV Revision Committee.

While at the School of Theology, she became the first African American to serve as president of the student body. During this time, Rev. Mathis was also a recipient of the Woods Leadership Award, and the Urban T. Holmes III Prize for Excellence in Preaching. Since entering the priesthood, Rev. Mathis has authored a number of articles and sermons in publications that include The Sewanee Theological Review, The Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching the Beatitudes, and The Alban Weekly. She is currently a recipient of a grant from the College of Pastoral Leaders from Austin Seminary. Rev. Mathis also serves as faculty for the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program, and as Trustee for Sewanee, University of the South.

She is married to the wonderful Vincent Mathis, and together they have one incredible and miraculous blessing in the person of their son, Master Ethan Christopher Mathis, born in November of 2012.

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