The Rev. Dr. Daniel DeForest London
I grew up in Los Altos CA, where I enjoyed a fun and slightly mischievous childhood while attending evangelical churches with my family. When I was 12, we moved to Ithaca NY, where the long, cold winters gave this California kid a rude awakening. In upstate NY, I attended a school that was part of a charismatic church called Covenant Love Community; and I was soon baptized in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination. During this time, I began taking my schoolwork and my spirituality more seriously, thanks to excellent teachers (including my father); and I started falling in love with literature, thanks to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. During my sophomore year of high school, we moved back to California, where I graduated from The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale. I considered attending Billy Graham’s alma mater Wheaton College, but decided to remain in sunny California instead and attend “The Wheaton of the West Coast”: Westmont College in Santa Barbara. At Westmont, I double majored in English and Religious Studies, served as the Co-Director of an Urban Ministry Team, and worked as a radio DJ and then General Manager of the college radio station. I also participated in three off-campus programs: in San Francisco, southern Oregon, and the UK, all of which helped pop me out of my evangelical bubble and put me on “the Canterbury trail” which led to the Episcopal Church.
After being rewarded the “Most Outstanding Religious Studies Student Award” and being told by the chaplain supervisor at SF General Hospital that I was called to be a minister, I decided to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. During seminary, I worked as a café barista, bookseller, and then manager at Borders bookstore while attending All Saints Episcopal Church, where I was confirmed by the Right Rev. Chester Talton on May 12, 2007. While finishing my Master’s degree, I served as the Director of Youth Ministries at Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel, which eventually sponsored me for ordination.
I then pursued a PhD in Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union while interning at St. Clement’s in Berkeley and St. Alban’s in Albany CA (not NY). I met my wife, Ashley Bacchi, in 2011 at a Religious Studies conference in SF and we subsequently helped each other trudge through and eventually complete our doctorates. During that time, I launched and led a collaborative youth ministry in Marin county; taught courses in Ethics, World Religions, Bible, and Spirituality; earned a Certificate of Anglican Studies from CDSP; and published a couple academic articles on prayer. I was ordained to the transitional diaconate by the Right Rev. J. Jon Bruno on June 8, 2013 and then to the priesthood by the Right Rev. Mary Glasspool on January 11, 2014 at St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles.
A couple years later, Ashley and I tied the knot at Grace Cathedral in SF, on the indoor prayer labyrinth, on May 20, 2016. I served as curate at Christ Episcopal Church in Sausalito CA in 2015 and then as the Priest-in-Charge (from 2016 to 2018) at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in San Rafael, where the Sunday attendance grew from 14 on my first Sunday to 40 on my last.
Ashley and I love traveling, exploring, visiting museums, cooking, reading, wine-tasting, eating sushi, going to the beach, attending theatre, and playing Settlers of Catan (a strategy board game). We are both thrilled to be living in Eureka and I am personally honored, humbled, and excited to be new rector.
In the summer of 2020, I published my first book, which was based on my dissertation: Theodicy and Spirituality in the Fourth Gospel (Fortress Academic); and in the summer of 2021, I published a book that I began working on in preparation for a daylong meditation retreat that I co-led in Trinidad in July 2019: The Cloud of Unknowing, Distilled (Apocryphile Press).
I post my sermons and other publications on my blog deforestlondon.wordpress.com.