Our Staff

Meet our leadership

Say hello to the staff at Church of the Ascension. 
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Fr. Ryan Cook
Rector

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With over 20 years in Christian ministry, Fr. Ryan Cook has worked in young adult ministry, Christian education, university chaplaincy and as a parish priest. Most recently, alongside his interim parish role, Fr. Ryan has been serving as a Manager at the Union Gospel Mission. This mission supports those caught in homelessness and drug addiction, in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside.



Fr. Ryan spent the first ten years of ministry as a pastor, in a non-denominational church, until becoming an Anglican in 2010. He was subsequently ordained in the Church of England, Diocese of Liverpool. His formation for the Priesthood took place at Regent College, Vancouver, and All Saints Center for Mission and Ministry in England. He holds a Diploma in Christian Ministry, a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Theology, an additional Master’s Degree in Practical Theology, and is presently pursuing a Doctorate in Ministry through Trinity Western University.



Fr. Ryan has a passion for the church to become a robust reflection of Christ in the community. He carries a love for the poor, a commitment to biblical preaching, and a growing interest in healing and spiritual formation.

Fr. Ryan has been married to his wife, Chantelle, for almost 21 years.  Chantelle presently works in the film industry and enjoys painting and travel. Together they have three kids: Judah (19), Anna (17) and Greyson (16).

Erika Johnson
Presiding Officer

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Erika Johnson joined Ascension in 2009, with her now, late-husband, Bob. She and her children continue to grow in their faith, and enjoy the fellowship of their church family. Before serving on the vestry, and as Sr. Warden, Erika served on the leadership team of the Women’s Ministry and as the LEM/Lector Ministry head. She continues to serve as a LEM, Lector, conduct Acolyte training, and is blessed to serve as the Presiding Officer of Ascension.

Rev. Matt Ainsley
Vicar of All Souls Mission

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Fr. Matt joined Ascension in 2015. He and his wife Kasey have two beautiful daughters Windsor and Pippa. In November of 2019, Fr. Matt became the Vicar of a new mission from Ascension in the Horizon’s West call All Souls. You may find more information about our new mission at allsoulsfl.org.
Rev. Bob Johnson
Associate for Liturgy and Music

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Bob has been minister of music at Church of the Ascension since 2009. He and his wife Catherine have one daughter, Kiersten. His passion is to see people transformed by the presence and power of God as they join together in worship. In addition to ministry as a church music director, Bob’s ministry has taken him throughout the United States and abroad to teach music and worship at conferences and local church events representing a wide variety of denominations and spiritual traditions.

Rev. Debby Buechner
Deacon

Deacon Debby has been with Church of the Ascension for 12 years and oversees our Lay Eucharistic Minister and Visitor ministries.  She is also very active in Daughters of the King and Kairos Outside ministries.

Rev. Rusty Hazelrigg

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Deacon Rusty’s passion is for Outreach and Evangelism to connect with not only the “churched” but the “unchurched.” The mission is to reach out to the working families that are “too busy” to attend church on Sunday mornings. Within the church he is active in the Men’s Ministry, Building & Grounds, and the Memorial Garden ministries.

Rev. Sarah Bronos
Retired Associate for Healing Ministry

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Rev’d Sarah was Director of Adult and Children’s Christian Formation ministries at All Saints, Winter Park for nine years, and associate priest at the then-new mission plant in Oviedo for two years. She has most recently been the Rector of Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland for almost nine years, retiring in May 2018.

Rev. Jim Kurtz
Retired Associate

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Rev. Jim Kurtz  was born and raised in Pennsylvania before moving to Florida in 1969.  He worked in corporate finance for years before ordination to the Diaconate in 1992 and Priesthood in 2000.  He served 12 years as Rector of St. Agnes in Sebring, Florida.  We are blessed to have him back in service at the Church of the Ascension and give thanks for the gifts he brings to us.

Rev. Roger Miller
Retired Associate

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Fr. Roger has served in the Diocese of Central Florida for over 30 years. After retiring from St. George’s in the Villages, we were blessed to have him and his wife Rita join our community! He has a heart for healing and worship.

Siju John
Children’s Coordinator

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Siju John has been a parishioner at Church of the Ascension since 2003. He joined the staff as Children’s Ministry Coordinator in April 2020 and currently works with families and volunteers for Sunday programming, Children’s Choir, Vacation Bible School and other family events throughout the year.
Pattie Range
Parish Administrator

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Doug Webber
Financial Administrator

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Michele Gladding
COOP Preschool Director

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Michael Ferrantelli
Sexton

Our Vestry

Jeffery Arnold
Mary Goracke
Erika Johnson, Sr. Warden
Gavin Patrick
Mark Peebles, Jr. Warden
Amy McClintock
Kathy Roach
Lisa Swetitsch
Joe Warren
Clayton Williams
Sherrell Wilson
DISCIPLES MAKING DISCIPLES

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”