Rev. Virginia “Gini” DiStanislao

The Reverend Virginia “Gini” DiStanislao joined Manakin Episcopal Church as its Rector on December 1, 2017. Before coming to Manakin, Gini served for eight years as the Priest in Charge at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Kenbridge, Virginia.

Born in Chesterfield County to Ernest and Virginia Gates, Gini grew up in Central Virginia, attending St. John’s in Chester and then Christ and Grace in Petersburg. She graduated from Mary Baldwin College in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and went on to become the President of Bon Air Title Agency in Richmond, where she worked with real estate attorneys and professionals throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2005, Gini heard God’s call and decided to pursue a path to ordained ministry that took her through the School of Ministry Formation in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. She was ordained in 2008. Gini currently serves on the Executive Board of the Diocese as the Vice-Chairperson.

Gini and her husband, Phil, are residents of Petersburg. Their family includes son Drew, son Thomas, Thomas’ wife, Elizabeth, and grandson, Phillip.

Gini and Phil also have an eight-year-old black lab rescue dog, Millie.

Gini’s interests outside of church include walking and hiking with Phil, watching sports, and spending time in the mountains with family and friends.

Wendy_DeHart_revWendy DeHart
Parish Administrator

Wendy grew up in Midlothian. She and her husband, Chris, were married at Manakin in 1994 and live in Powhatan County. They have three boys: Kyle, Daniel and Michael. Wendy has been the Parish Administrator at Manakin since 1992. In her spare time, she enjoys being a wife and mother; participating in outdoor activities, including gardening and yard work; spending time with family; and fishing on the James River.

Rita-G-webRita Gulliksen
Organist/Choir Director

Rita Gulliksen graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a degree in piano performance. She also majored in organ and studied voice. She earned a Master of Music degree from VCU in piano performance. Rita also studied Church Music and Organ at Shenandoah University and at the Pontifical Institute of Music, Rome, Italy.

Rita began teaching piano in Richmond when she was 15-years old, and she continues to maintain a small piano studio in the city. She has taught general music and choir in the county school system and chorus at VCU and has held minister of music positions at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and St. Benedict Church. She is currently organist and choir director at Manakin Episcopal Church.

Rita is a national certified piano judge and a member of the Music Teachers National Association, The American Guild of Piano Teachers, the American Guild of Organists, Delta Omicron and the Leschetizky Society.

In addition to her music activities, Rita enjoys growing orchids, sailing and playing golf. She has two grown children and six grandchildren. She lives in Richmond with her husband and her Siamese cat.

Julia Eliades
Interim Christian Formation Director 


Vestry Members 
Becky Aldred – Christian Formation Committee Chair & Liaison
Charles Beorn – Outreach Committee Liaison 
Coleman Brydon – Worship Committee Liaison 
Paul Davis
Bill Deekens
Kristen Hebert
Robert King – Buildings & Grounds Committee Liaison 
Gunnar Kohlbeck – Pastoral Care Committee Liaison 
Jim Walsh

Vestry Officers
Randy Blunt – Treasurer
Assistant Treasurers – Beth Norton, Jim Walsh & Paul Winslow
Tina Schepker – Register