St. Gabriel's Parish Staff
The Rev. Andrew VanBuren,
The Rev. Andrew comes to St. Gabriel’s from Clifton Springs, New York, where he served as Rector for St. John’s Episcopal Church from 2015 until very recently, as well as serving as a District Dean in the Diocese of Rochester.
Rev. Andrew earned his M.Div. from the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in 2015 and holds an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore.
Rev. Andrew and his wife Becca were married in June. Becca grew up in Pennsburg, PA, attended Boyertown High School, and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music with an M.Ed. in Music Education.
Russ is a native of the South who settled in Pennsylvania in 1986. He has been active in the Diocese of Bethlehem for 30 years and at St. Gabriel’s since 2002. Russ has served as Rector’s Warden, Vestry member, Diocesan Convention Delegate, Adult Church School Teacher, Sacristan, Cursillo Team member among other roles in the church.
He studied Theology and Communication at Alvernia University. For the last 11 years, Russ has worked as Executive Director of Hopewell Love, an ecumenical non-profit organization serving those in need.
Russ is the St. Gabriel’s Mission Developer for Common Ground Recovery Community which offers liturgies and classes/workshops for persons in recovery and 12-step fellowships.
Common Ground is active at Atonement Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran in Reading and now St. Gabriel’s. He is discerning a call to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church.
Russ lives in Birdsboro and is the partner of Joseph LaBarbera and the father of Ryan. He loves to write and draw, to hike and bike local trails with Joe and friends, and to garden. Russ enjoys spending time at the beach and is an avid practitioner of hot yoga.
Jake is a summa cum laude 2016 graduate of Duquesne University, holding a B.S. in music education and a PK-12 Pennsylvania Music Teaching Certification.
Having successfully student taught in the Bethel Park and Hampton Township school districts, Jake returned to his Berks County roots as the 7-12 Strings/Orchestra teacher in the Governor Mifflin School District in Shillington, PA!
Jake enjoys teaching immensely, as well as playing the piano, singing, and doing both at the same time, among various other musical endeavors.
Jake is a true son of St. Gabriel’s, having been baptized there and spending his early years as a parishioner. His grandfather, Deacon Don Howells, served at St. Gabriel’s.
For more information on Jake’s background, please visit
Phoebe has been playing the guitar for over 50 years. Born and raised in the Boyertown area, she took lessons from Green’s Music Store in Boyertown.
Guitar playing was a hobby until 2001, when she felt called into music ministry. Most of her singing is done in retirement homes, with dementia units as her specialty.
When a musician was needed, she started singing at St. Gabe’s at the Saturday evening service in 2001.
In 2014, she also started singing at the Sunday services and leading music for the Christian Ed. programs and VBS.
Phoebe lives in Boyertown with her daughter, Bonny, and granddaughter, Emily.
When not sharing her gift of music, she enjoys crossword puzzles, crocheting, and swimming for recreation.
Her motto is, “I can’t change anything about the world, but I can play my guitar and make people happy.”
An active member of the parish since 1984, Sally has served on staff in the parish office since 1990. A graduate of Boyertown Area High School, she attended West Chester State College (now “University”) and previously worked at a savings and loan and as a bookkeeper prior to her ministry at St. Gabriel’s.
In addition to her work in the church office, Sally has served St. Gabriel’s in various ministries through the years, including as a Sunday School teacher, Youth leader, choir member, and a member of The Daughters of the King. Sally is an active instrumental musician, playing (French) Horn at church and with many groups through the years.
Sally is currently a member of the Reading Pops Orchestra, the Reading Musical Foundation’s Music in the Schools woodwind quintet.
Sally is also a member of the Polished Brass quintet and the Boyertown Alumni Band. In addition, she free-lances and teaches the horn privately.
Sally lives in Douglassville with her husband, Bill, and their two cats, Owen and Derek. Sally & Bill are the parents of two grown children, and grandparents of two “bonus” grandsons.
Barbara moved to this area in the late 1990’s from the upper NY Finger Lakes region. She has been an Episcopalian since the early 1980’s, when she became a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Parkersburg, WV.
She and her husband were married there by The Rev. Scott Allen, who serves these days in the Diocese of Bethlehem! It truly is a small world.
Barbara lives in Pottstown with her two spoiled cats and is very active in the local and professional theater community. She has been a member here and the Parish Secretary since July 2005.
She currently does the weekly altar flowers and any other flowers as needed during the Church year. She sings in the choir and really loves being a part of this wonderful, active and joyful St. Gabriel’s family!
Good Shepherd Learning Center
The Good Shepherd Learning Center is one of the most important ministries of St. Gabriel’s, serving Douglassville and the surrounding communities.
Pat graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and began her career in teaching at a Christian Preschool. She then moved on to a local daycare where she began teaching Preschool and Kindergarten and also served as the Educational Assistant.
With many prayers and assistance from God and St. Gabriel’s Church the Good Shepherd Learning Center was born in the year 2000 and Pat was hired as the Director. She received her Director’s Credential in 2008 and under her guidance, the Learning Center achieved a STAR 4 rating in the Keystone STARS quality initiative in 2014.
Pat has been an active member of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church since 1988, serving as a Sunday school teacher for 14 years, serving on the Vestry and later as Senior Warden.
The Learning Center was named after the Sunday School curriculum the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
She also served on the Campus Master Plan Committee and was received into the Order of the Daughters of the King in 2013, where she has vowed to uphold the two Rules of the Order, the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service.
She is the mother of three adult married children and a grandmother of four. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and her four furry children; one dog and three cats.
Good Shepherd Learning Center
Kelly has her degree in Early Childhood Management and has worked in the field for 12+ years. She has worked with children of all ages and abilities. In addition to working with the children she also has experience with business management, administrative responsibilities, and leadership in the Early Childhood Education setting.
The part of working in Early Childhood Education that she feels is the most important, is the time spent building relationships with the children and their families.
The thing she enjoys most is sharing their excitement when they figure out how to do something new!!
Her absolute favorite moments are the humorous ones. When children get that belly laugh over something so silly, it reminds her of what life is all about.
Kelly first worked here when in college and completed her student teaching here at Good Shepherd Learning Center many years ago in the Pre-K classroom and is happy to be back!