The Reverend Robert L. Brown


"A 'cradle' Episcopalian, I actually grew up at Saint Matthew's before beginning college in the late 1970s. I returned to the parish as the rector in 2003. Prior to seminary I worked as a legislative assistant and aide to Congresswoman Liz Patterson in Washington DC and in Spartanburg.

"I am passionate about the work of the Church to bring about the Kingdom of God. We are called, as faithful witnesses and disciples, to proclaim Christ in every way.  We do this best when our actions match our words. I believe we have a special obligation to the poor and the outcast, and we must serve as Stewards of God's Creation.  I am currently doing doctoral work at Sewanee to sharpen that focus.  My family, the outdoors, and writing round out a very full life." - Rob Brown

A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in History, and an MDiv from Sewanee, The University of the South. Rob is married to Sandra McGee Brown, an operating room nurse, and they have two adult children, Zach and Becca.

The Reverend Paul R. Abernathy Assistant Rector

The Reverend Paul Roberts Abernathy, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, received his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science, from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, and his Master of Divinity degree from The General Theological Seminary, New York City.


In 1977, ordained as a deacon and, in 1978, as a priest, Father Paul served congregations in Columbia, Missouri, Chicago, IL, Charleston, SC, and Washington, DC. On February 1, 2015, he retired, moving to Spartanburg, SC, to begin his “rehirement” working for his wife at their bed & breakfast and events facility, Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens.


From December 2015 through mid-February 2020, he shared Christian life and labor with the community of Epiphany Episcopal Church, Laurens, SC, as priest-in-charge, part-time. Since March 1, 2020, he serves St. Matthew’s and Father Rob as the Assistant to the Rector.


Father Paul has held a variety of positions in the church, among them, a four-time General Convention deputy, stints on many committees and commissions in the dioceses where he served, and, for the national church, on the committees of Social Responsibility in Investments and Structure. For many years, before its closing, Father Paul was an adjunct faculty member of the College of Preachers of the Washington National Cathedral Foundation, Washington, DC.


An avid writer and blogger, in 2013, Father Abernathy published a book of sermons, For the Living of These Days. He is joyously married above his station of life to the former Pontheolla Mack of Bishopville, SC, who always is the best reason to know him. Their daughter, Kristin, resides in Houston, TX.