Fr. William “Bill” Faupel, Assistant Priest, [email protected], (239) 992-4343
“Father Bill,” as the Rev. Dr. D. William Faupel likes to be called, came to St. Mary’s as Priest Associate in November 2018, and served as Priest in Charge May 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021. “Coming to St. Mary’s is the culmination of spiritual journey,” he said when asked about how he felt as a priest at St. Mary’s. “I feel that all the forks in the road that I have taken, in retrospect, were designed to lead me here.”
That this journey has had many forks is an understatement. Fr. Bill began his pastoral ministry in 1966 as a Pastor in the Assemblies of God in Manistee, Michigan. They paid him $10 a week. “Fortunately, I was able to land a teaching position teaching 3rd grade, so I did not starve.” After a year, it became clear that at 22 he was not mature enough to pastor, so he resigned and moved to Kentucky to pursue an M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary, a United Methodist school. “It was there that I came to the first fork in the road offering me three options. I decided to take all three. First, I accepted a full-time position in the library, and while continuing my M.Div. program, also enrolled in a Library of Science course of study at the University of Kentucky. Secondly, I joined Christ Episcopal Cathedral and began discussions to pursue ordination in the Episcopal Church. Third, with the encouragement of the Bishop I became Lay Pastor of a Presbyterian church, while continuing to attend the 8 a.m. service at the Cathedral.”
It took him seven years to complete his two degrees at which point he planned to move to Illinois to spend a year taking Anglican Studies at Seabury/Western. However, his journey led to another unexpected fork in the road. He received an invitation from a Professor at the University of Birmingham to come to England to do a Ph.D. in Church History under his direction. His Bishop arranged for him to live at Queen’s College adjacent to the University and take his Anglican studies there. At his last meeting before leaving his Bishop said, “Bill, you are an Evangelical, and I expect you will always remain one. But while you are in England, I want you to be exposed to another strand of our tradition. I have written the Bishop of Birmingham, asking that you be Assigned to an Anglo-Catholic parish.” Bill says his three years as sub-deacon at St. Oswald’s was the fork in the road that would eventually bring him to St. Mary’s. “The exposure I had to the rich history of the historic Catholic faith that I received there was truly transformative.”
Three years later, he accepted an invitation to return to Asbury to serve as Director of the Library and Professor of Church History, positions he held from 1978-2004. He was ordained Deacon in 1978 and Priested the following year in the Diocese of Lexington. During his tenure in Kentucky he served a variety of parishes as Assistant Rector and Interim Rector. In addition,
he also served as Vicar of two mission congregations.
In 2004 Bill accepted an invitation to become Director of the Library and Professor of the History of Christianity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, a position he held until his retirement in 2013. During the first four years of this tenure he served as supply priest in the Dioceses of Washington, Virginia and Maryland. In 2009 he was “loaned” to the United Methodists where he served as pastor of a small congregation in Ellicott City Maryland until his retirement.
Moving to Naples Florida in 2013 he came out of retirement when St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he was attending hired him as Associate Rector. Two years later he was hired as Priest-in-Charge, upon the retirement of the Rector, a position he held until coming to St. Mary’s.
Fr. Bill is married to Bonnie. They have two children, Jimmy (deceased) and Michael who is married to Kimberly. They have no grandchildren.