Announcing Reverend Della Wager Wells
Emmanuel Church welcomes Della Wager Wells as our Rector in Charge beginning September 1, 2019. Reverend Della Wager Wells is a cradle Episcopalian and has been an active layperson from her childhood in Watertown, New York, to her adult years in Atlanta, Georgia, at the large urban parish where she was senior warden and developed and led a training program for laypersons to prepare them for leadership in the church.
In 2008, Della became involved in the Compass Rose Society, an international mission organization supporting the relational ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the global Anglican Communion. Meeting and interacting with congregations from all over the Anglican Communion inspired Della to pursue ordained ministry.
Della retired in the fall of 2015 after 30 years of practicing law in Atlanta to begin seminary at Yale, and is married to Jere (pronounced Jerry). Jere retired as assistant headmaster of a large Atlanta K-12 independent school shortly thereafter and is now the Director of the Educational Leadership and Ministry program at Yale Divinity School. Della graduated from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale with her MDiv in May 2018 and was ordained by Bishop Knisely at St. Martin’s in Providence in June.
Della and Jere just celebrated their 38th anniversary and have two adult children, a son Judson and a daughter Aubrey, and a much-loved Labrador retriever, Hank, all of whom live and work in New York City — well, except for Hank, who really doesn’t work much.
Della just returned from an academic year — September 1 through May 31 — at St. George’s College in Jerusalem, an Anglican center for pilgrimage, study, and reconciliation, where she served as Berkeley Divinity School at Yale’s first Porter Fellow. As Porter Fellow, she worked with St. George’s Cathedral, St. George’s College, and Jerusalem Peacebuilders, a reconciliation ministry for Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens.
Della and Jere both are thrilled to be in Rhode Island, where all three of their favorite food groups — clams, lobster, and soft ice cream — are in plentiful supply. Jere enjoys fly fishing, sailing, and golf, and Della loves the Episcopal Church, global mission, choral music, and raising chickens.