The Reverend Robert G. Trache
Interim Rector | St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown
The Reverend Robert G. Trache has been appointed Interim Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, NJ. His ministry at St. Peter’s begins on September 8, 2019 and will continue until a permanent Rector is called by the Vestry. Rev. Trache, kindly referred to as Father Bob or Bob, comes to St. Peter’s from St. Mark the Evangelist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was Rector from 2008 until his mandatory retirement in 2019. He also served as Head of School from 2011 to 2019.
Fr. Bob graduated from Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Roothbert Fellow, in 1977 and has been an ordained Episcopal priest since 1978. He has served a variety of parishes and organizations all across the US, and has a history of establishing new ministries to address pressing needs of the communities in which he has served. During his first post as Assistant Rector at St. John’s Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, Fr. Bob initiated a medical ministry to migrant workers in the region. Following St. John’s, Wilmington, Fr. Bob accepted a call to be Rector of St. Elizabeth’s parish in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where he served from 1980 - 1984.
Fr. Bob was then called to be Rector of Immanuel Church on the Hill in Alexandria, Virginia, located on the campus of Virginia Episcopal Seminary. While there, he founded and was President of the Northern Virginia AIDS ministry, helped to develop and manage the Alexandria Network Preschool for “At-Risk” Children, recognized by President George Bush’s Points of Light Foundation, led the Diocese of Virginia Jewish-Christian Inter-Faith dialogue, and founded the Diocese of Virginia ministry to the Holy Land. Fr. Bob also founded and was the President of the Virginia Episcopal Clergy Association.
Following his service at Immanuel Church, Fr. Bob was called in 1994 to be Rector of St. James’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. During his tenure, St. James’s Church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Fr. Bob led the $10 million dollar rebuilding effort and managed to grow the congregation which for three years worshiped in a nearby Jewish synagogue. He founded the first inter-racial, Church-based race-relations program in Richmond aimed at reducing racial tensions in the city. In combination with the local synagogue, St. James’s was awarded, under his leadership, Virginia’s first Freedom Award for religious and ecumenical leadership. Fr. Bob also was a founding board member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Compass Rose Society dedicated to worldwide mission.
Fr. Bob also served as Rector of the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts from 2005 - 2008, where he led the Diocese of Massachusetts’ effort to provide Hurricane Katrina aid and led the Diocese Jewish/Christian Interfaith Dialogue and was chair of the Diocese of Massachusetts Committee on the Holy Land.
In addition to his parish ministry, Fr. Bob has also served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Great Valley Center in Modesto California, the largest regional non-profit in California’s Central Valley, as well as Executive Director of Corpus Christi Metro Ministries, a 20-year-old ecumenical effort to address the challenges of homelessness and poverty in South Texas.
Fr. Bob was born and raised in Newburgh, New York and later received a BA and MA in History from the George Washington University. While attending school in Washington, Fr. Bob served on the Senate staff of Jacob K. Javits, then the senior Senator from New York. Before entering ordained ministry, Fr. Bob was the Associate Dean of Admissions and Registrations at the Catholic University of America, the Director of Admissions, Financial Aid and Registration at Rutgers University at Newark, and served for a brief time as the Director of Admissions and Registrations at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In addition to his other degrees, Fr. Bob received a certificate in financial management from Stanford University School of Business and studied Biblical Theology and Archaeology at Cambridge University in England.
Fr. Bob is married to the Rev. Deacon Eliza R. Ragsdale, called Mother Liza or Liza, is a voracious reader, and loves history and poetry. Fr. Bob and Liza both love to travel and experience other cultures. For decades, they have led pilgrimages to the Holy Land as well as to Scotland, Ireland and England. Fr. Bob has also coached baseball for years and loves the sport among others.