WAKEFIELD — After several years of searching, Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Wakefield has welcomed the Rev. Brett R. Johnson as its new rector – the 21st to serve this parish, which has offered worship, Christian education and spiritual formation, and service to those in need to the Greater Wakefield community for more than 150 years.

“WOW! Come see what makes Emmanuel so special. I am grateful for the sense of joy and community – the essence of God – that is vitally alive here. I was drawn to this intergenerational family that spans life-long Episcopalians and many folk who have found a home from other (or no) faith traditions. This is a 152-year-old gem in the wonderful Wakefield community,” said Rev. Brett.

In his new role, the Rev. Brett leads the church’s weekly in-person (at 8 and 10 a.m.) and virtual worship via Zoom (at 10 a.m.). on Sunday mornings, as well as weekly Evening Prayer on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Sunday worship services are available for viewing on Emmanuel’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. You will find Zoom and bulletin links at

“After searching for a new rector for over two years, Emmanuel Church is thrilled that Rev. Brett has joined our close-knit parish,” said Co-Warden Keith Santarelli. “In addition to his warmth and passion for ministry, he brings so many valuable gifts that he wants to share with our community: vast experience providing pastoral care to ill and aging parishioners; sermons that connect scripture to everyday life; and immense musical talents to contribute to our outstanding music program. We are optimistic for what our future holds with Rev. Brett at our spiritual helm.”

A North Reading resident, the Rev. Brett most recently served as Interim Associate Rector at Christ Church in Andover; Bridge Priest at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Beverly; and Assistant Rector (Bridge) at Parish of the Good Shepherd in Waban. Prior to his ordination to the priesthood, the Rev. Brett served as a Deacon/Seminarian at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore in Danvers and as a chaplain at Holy Family Hospital and the Hospice House in Methuen and Haverhill. He is the chaplain for the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

A lifelong musician, he is an experienced voice teacher, serving both in private practice and on the faculty of Phillips Academy Andover, and as a professional singer, singing with several noted Boston-based professional choirs, including Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and the Handel & Haydn Society.

The Rev. Brett holds a Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, Calif.; a Bachelor of Music from Boston University, and has received special training in chaplaincy and church redevelopment.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church is an intergenerational, welcoming, mission-driven, and sacramental faith community at the corner of Main and Bryant streets. The church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020.