New Leadership at the Parish Church of St. Helena

12 Aug New Leadership at the Parish Church of St. Helena


August 10, 2021

CONTACT:     Kelly Newnham

                        Director of Communications

Parish Church of St. Helena



New Leadership at the Parish Church of St. Helena

One of Beaufort’s oldest churches will start the new church year with new leaders.

The Rev. Samuel Porcher Gaillard IV, known as Shay, will become the Rector at the Parish Church of St. Helena (Anglican) this month. The Rev. Todd Simonis will arrive in September to serve alongside Gaillard as Senior Associate.

            “Coming to a Gospel-centered historic church with such a lively witness is an incredible opportunity,” Gaillard said. “I am excited to see where God will lead St. Helena’s to expand our Kingdom ministry.”

Gaillard and Simonis replace the Rev. Jeffrey Miller and the Rev. Andrew O’Dell, who were called to become rector and senior associate respectively at St. Philip’s Church in downtown Charleston.

A Charleston native, Shay Gaillard worked in youth ministry in several parishes of the Diocese of South Carolina and at Camp St. Christopher near Seabrook, where he was the Summer Camp Director. He was an acolyte at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul and graduated from Bishop England High School and Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. 

After receiving the call to ordination, Gaillard attended Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa., from 2001 to 2003, where he received his Master of Divinity. He returned to the diocese and served as assistant rector at St. Paul’s in Conway for 2 ½ years before being called to Church of the Good Shepherd in Charleston, where he served as rector for 10 years until receiving the call to St. Helena’s. Gaillard and his wife, Tara, have four children. He enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, football, and water sports.

            “Our family is so excited to move to Beaufort to begin this new ministry at St. Helena’s,” he said. “We are convinced that God has called us, so we await with excitement the unfolding of His plan.”

The new Senior Associate, the Rev. Todd Simonis, and his family have lived in Mt. Pleasant for the past 13 years. He has served on the staff at St. Andrew’s Church, where his most recent role was to start a new church (St. Andrew’s City Church) in downtown Charleston, focusing on the college and young adult population.

Simonis graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh with a Business Administration degree and received his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C. He and his wife, Elizabeth, who recently completed a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology, have two children.

The new Rector will deliver his first sermon on Aug. 28, which is Rally Sunday at St. Helena’s, when the new church year with all of its classes and activities begins.

“Because of St. Helena’s rich history, including the Beaufort Revival of 1831, I believe that God has great things in store for this community,” Gaillard said.

            Clergy serving at St. Helena’s include the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway, retired Bishop of Pittsburgh; the Rev. Chuck Pollak; the Rev. Chad Lawrence; the Rev. Matt Rusch; and Deacons Mark Warter and Jim Cato.

            For more information about St. Helena’s, visit