The Reverend Elizabeth Zarelli Turner, Rector
The Rev. Elizabeth Zarelli Turner has been Rector of St. Mark’s since 2008. She has, however, been at St. Mark’s since 1999 when she was hired to serve as Assistant to the Rector. In 2004 she and her family moved to Maine for one year, but returned to St. Mark’s upon their return to Austin. Her predecessor, the Rev. William M. Bennett, retired in June of 2007. Upon his retirement Elizabeth+ served as locum tenens and then as Acting Rector until her call to be Rector in January of 2008.
Elizabeth+ was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University (SPU) with her B.A. in 1976. She studied at the Yale Divinity School from 1976-1978 and earned an M.A.R. degree. She worked as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministries at SPU until 1982, when she moved to New York City as a student at the General Theological Seminary (GTS). She graduated from GTS with a M.Div. degree in 1984. She was ordained Deacon in June of 1984 and moved to Cincinnati, OH where she served as Assistant to the Rector at Church of the Redeemer until 1986. Her marriage to Philip Turner in 1986 took her back to NYC, where she served for 2 years as the Assistant Ecumenical Officer for the Episcopal Church and then 3 years as a clergy Associate at St. James’ Church. In 1991 Elizabeth and her family moved to New Haven, CT, where her husband served as Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and during which time Elizabeth+ was Interim and Assistant Dean of Admissions for the Yale Divinity School.
Upon Philip’s retirement, the family moved to Austin where Elizabeth served at All Saints’ for two years prior to her ministry at St. Mark’s.
Elizabeth and Philip have a daughter, Elisa.
The Reverend Travis Smith, Assistant Rector & Youth Minister
Travis is a native Texan, growing up in Houston until age 13, when his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He attended and graduated from Grand Canyon University, receiving his B.A. in Biblical Studies in 1998. Travis went to seminary (the first time) at Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco. While at Truett he met his wife, Suzanne. They both graduated from Truett with M.Div’s in 2002, and were married in 2003.
In 2005, Travis and Suzanne attended an Episcopal mission in Mexia, Texas and have never looked back. From the first few moments of walking into Episcopal Church, Travis knew he was to be a priest. Travis went back to seminary and received his Diploma in Anglican Studies in 2012 from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, in June 2012.
Travis and Suzanne have two sons, Luke and Noah.