Our Rector

Donna Jean Kiessling 

Welcome in the name of the Lord and on behalf of St. Peter’s parish! Thank you for visiting St. Peter’s website. I hope this preview of our community will inspire you to visit us and experience in person the joy of a loving Christian community.

My ministry is grounded in the belief that we are created out of love for love to be love for those we meet. God who is Love deeply desires a true, honest friendship that empowers us to be fully alive as spiritual beings on a human journey. My personal Mission Statement is to Live and Enjoy Life as God’s Beloved. Jesus is the model for what it means to be and live as the Beloved of God. When we look at the Gospels, we see that Jesus experienced joy in life in a healthy fulfilling way. St. Peter’s Mission is to be a Faith Community Offering Hospitality, Hope and Healing. Together we share a joint vision and ministry to enable God’s Love and Presence to provide a place of rest, joyful fellowship, and healing. In our journey through life, we all unintentionally accumulate baggage that weighs us down. St. Peter’s is a place where we can name our baggage and allow God to lighten our load freeing us to experience the true Grace and Gift of life and love always intended for us by God.

My own personal journey has been one of seeking deeper communion with God and allowing God to resurrect me from the extreme dysfunction and violence that surrounded me as a child. These experiences have given me two foundational beliefs. First, that God can resurrect every death experience as long as I surrender myself in faith and trust. Second, the Love of God is stronger than any human power. I am truly blessed with deep healing, wholeness and love from God and the Christian Church. My ministry is empowered by my desire for others to experience the freedom, acceptance and joy I have experienced.

My Masters of Divinity is from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, where I also hold a Certificate in African American Studies. My Associates’ and Bachelors’ Degrees are in Business Management from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. My resume includes a wide-range of vocations: secretary, travel agent, small claims aviation adjustor, computer programmer, retirement plan manager and priest. All have taught me life skills and confirmed for me my true love and passion for parish ministry. I have been blessed to travel to England, Israel, Tibet, Nepal, Ireland, Scotland, Canada—and now Smyrna, Delaware.

I look forward to meeting you on your visit to St. Peter’s. If you would like to schedule a meeting at a mutually convenient time, please email me directly at [email protected] May you know and experience the power and freedom of the Love of the Lord this day and always!

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

22 North Union Street
Smyrna, DE  19977


Phone: 302-653-9691

Email Office: [email protected]

Email Rector: [email protected]

Email Preschool: [email protected]