|The Rev. Bryan Duffty is the first deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lakeport. Courtesy photo.|
LAKEPORT, Calif. – Lakeport resident Rev. Bryan Duffty is the first-ever deacon at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lakeport.
The appointment was made by Northern California Bishop Barry Beisner in Sacramento, and is a first for the 135-year history of the Episcopal Church in Lake County.
Of various ministries a deacon fulfills in a parish community, Rev. Duffty is particularly interested in working with teens and young people.
"It helps keep me young at heart and have a hopeful view of the future," he said.
He and his granddaughter, Makayla, are working with other young people to create a teen fashion boutique in St. John’s Basement Boutique Thrift Shop and put on a fashion show for the parish.
"I am here to serve not only the good folks of St. John's but also to be a bridge between the church and all the people of Lake County," he said.
Rev. Duffty was born in Leeds, an industrial city in Yorkshire, England, in 1937. He married Ann Russell in 1959, and in July 1964 the couple relocated to Ontario, Canada. Their daughter Joanne was born in 1967 and Jane in 1973.
He accepted a position as a forestry equipment driver in 1974 and the family moved to South San Jose and, five years later, to Gilroy.
In the early 1980s Rev. Duffty began studies for ordination to the diaconate and was in one of the first classes of perpetual deacons to be ordained since the revival of that order by the Episcopal Church.
He was ordained a perpetual deacon in 1985 by The Rt. Rev. Shannon Mallory, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real, and served as deacon in several congregations of that diocese.
The Dufftys bought a summer home in Lakeport in the late 1980s and occasionally visited St. John's. Sadly Ann died in November 2007.
In July 2011 Rev. Duffty moved to Lakeport with his daughter Jane and Jane's daughter Makayla.
The family continued to worship on occasion at St. John's and when Rev. Duffty learned of the illness of parish priest Father Leo Joseph, he felt God's call to be of assistance to the parish in whatever way he could. Joseph was grateful for the offer and communicated that to Bishop Beisner by letter.
The parish officially welcomed Rev. Duffty at services June 10 and expressed thanks to God for the timely gift of his ministry.
When asked how he prefers to be addressed, whether as Deacon Bryan or as The Rev. Deacon Duffty, he replied, "Actually, I just as soon be called Bryan or anything, as long as you don't call me late for dinner."
All are welcome at St. John’s Episcopal Church Sunday services at 10 a.m., 1190 N. Forbes St., Lakeport. For more information, see www.saintjohnslakeport.org .