Meet Our Rector


Tom Deppe grew up in the piney woods of east Texas and excelled in athletics, primarily swimming. He attended the US Naval Academy (1976-1980) where he earned a BS in Political Science and was a Varsity Swimmer. At the Naval War College (1993) he received a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies, with Distinction. Most recently he graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX (2000 – 2003) with a Masters in Divinity.As an F-14A Naval Flight Officer, Tom deployed on various aircraft carriers. He is a graduate of Topgun (1985), served as an Advanced Jet Training Instructor (F-14A) in San Diego (1986-1989), and is a decorated combat veteran (1991, Desert Storm, USS John F. Kennedy, VF-32 Swordsmen, Virginia Beach, VA). He completed a tour on the USS Independence in Japan as the Carrier Strike Operations Officer (1996-1998). Tom attained the rank of Commander and retired after a twenty-year career while serving as the Naval Carrier Power Projection expert for the Air Force at Hurlburt Field, Ft. Walton Beach, FL (1998-2000).

Tom began discernment for ordained ministry in the middle 1990s while a parishioner and vestryperson at Eastern Shore Chapel and was called to attend seminary from St. Christopher Episcopal Church, Pensacola, FL in 2000. He was the curate at St. Paul’s Mobile, AL, a corporate size, suburban parish, from 2003-2006. While there, he led outreach ministry, to include: teaching “Spanish for Dummies,” organizing and leading six mission trips to El Salvador, and leading disaster relief trips to the MS gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina. He was called as the 22nd rector of All Saints in 2006.

Tom was the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church for seven years. His areas of focus included church stability, restoration, outreach, and growth. He was involved in issues relating to non-violence and ecological sustainability. Under his leadership, All Saints became recognized in the community for: the fall Seafood Festival, quarterly Interfaith Forums (Muslims, Jews, Christians, and civic leaders), the annual Music through the Ages concert series, the spring Antiques, Art, and Garden Party, and technologically savvy social media and public relations programs.

Tom was called as the rector of Eastern Shore Chapel in 2013. He began his ministry with us on May 19, 2013. Tom is committed to spiritual and numerical growth through lifelong, hope-filled, Christian formation and ministries tailored toward children, youth, and young families. Tom has been happily married to Deborah S. Deppe for thirty-one years and they have three wonderful children: Morgan (27), Kathryn – Kit (25), and Allison (23), as well as two rowdy Australian Shepherds: Simon Peter (7) and Andrew (8 months).

Meet Our Associate Rector

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Rev. Julia Messer grew up in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. She is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College. She attended Virginia Theological Seminary and graduated in May 2010. She was ordained as a deacon in June 2010, and to the priesthood in December 2010. In the summer of 2010, she was called as Assistant Rector of Emmanuel in Kempsville. She later became their Associate.

In the diocese, she has served as a chaplain for youth weekends, a trustee for Jackson-Feild Home and the Ridley Foundation, and a member of the Young Adults Commission. Growing up she spent her summers at Camp Kanuga where she was a camper, counselor and finally a camp chaplain. She has also served as a camp chaplain at Camp Chanco.

Julia says “Leading a healthy life in mind, body, and spirit is important to me. I am a novice golf player, avid reader, yet the art of cooking still remains a mystery to me.”

Meet Our Affiliated Priest

The Rev. John A. Baldwin retired in May 2014 after 36 years as an Episcopal priest. He served in the dioceses of Western Michigan, Washington DC, Minnesota, and for his last 17 years as Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach. He was a 4-time deputy to General Convention from Southern Virginia and has been active in the ministries of Kairos and Cursillo. John has been married to Ann Scherm Baldwin for 37 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. John enjoys hiking, geocaching, kayaking, and golf. In the Fall of 2015 he walked the 500 mile long Camino de Santiago in Spain. In retirement he serves as a co-chair for the Patient and Family Advisory Committee at Sentara Leigh Hospital, and he is in training to be a docent at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.

Meet Our Rabbi Scholar


We are very excited to have Rabbi Israel “Izzy” Zoberman become Eastern Shore Chapel’s first Rabbi Scholar. His official title will be Honorary Sr. Rabbi Scholar in recognition of his many years of service as the founding Rabbi of Beth Chaverim.

We have enjoyed a longstanding affiliation with Rabbi Zoberman and he is anxious to share his knowledge of the Hebrew Scripture and the Jewish faith with us.

Israel was born in Chu, Kazakhstan (USSR) to Polish Holocaust survivors. He spent his early childhood in Poland, Austria, and from 1947 to 1949, at Germany’s Wetzlar Displaced Persons Camp, American Zone. He grew up in Haifa, Israel where he served in the Israel Defense Forces in the 1960s. Israel and his wife Jennifer have been married for 45 years and are the proud grandparents of Daniel and Andrew.

We look forward to seeing him around the church campus for many years to come and greatly anticipate his mutual ministry with us. There are only a handful of churches in the U.S. that have the distinct honor of having a Rabbi Scholar and we are thrilled to join their company!