The Very Rev. Sam Murangi, Rector

The Murangi Family

Fr. Sam, Yvonne, Hannah & Rebecca

Born and raised in Fort Portal Western Uganda, Father Sam felt his first calling at the age of 16 when he found himself serving at the altar and /or frequently leading Morning Prayer at his home church.

He was ordained in 1996 at St. John’s Cathedral in Fort Portal and in 1997 came to the United States to complete his Master’s degree in Social Work at Bryn Mawr College. At this time, Father Sam began his service as an associate priest at several parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, including The Church of the Good Shepherd Rosemont, St. Luke’s Germantown, and All Saints Wynnewood. In 2015 he was called to serve as Priest in Charge at Emmanuel Resurrection in Holmesburg and in 2016 was called to be the Rector. During these years of pastoral service, Father Sam continued his studies and was awarded his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Both in Uganda and the United States, Father Sam established two non-profit organizations (High Hope Development Foundation and High Hope International Mission) to help with cost of education for the youth of Fort Portal and help the widows become self-sufficient.

Fr. Sam is married to Yvonne Nyakaana Murangi with whom he has two daughters: Hannah Ester Murangi (age 4 1/2) and Rebecca Jemima Murangi (1 1/2). In addition to spending time with his family, Father Sam enjoys praying, landscaping, reading History, Theology and Liturgy.

The Rev. Donna Lima-Monteiro


Sandra H. Smith

Seminarian Intern

Sandra Smith is a cradle Episcopalian born in Philadelphia where she developed a passion for the liturgy by serving as acolyte, choir member, and Sunday school teacher. Her experiences at the Church of the Advocate help to birth a desire towards a lifelong passion for preaching and Christian formation. Upon graduation from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education Sandra went on to teach for over twenty years. DeWitt Wallace foundation awarded her two grants which she founded the first animal lab on the elementary level as well as a greenhouse also the first on the elementary school level. As grade chairperson of kindergarten, mentor to appointed teachers, student teachers, and classroom assistance she embraced a holistic approach to teaching on many levels.

As a member of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas she founded a prayer group, chaired Revival Committee, taught Biblical Principles of Marriage and the Family, coordinated youth fundraiser, Educational presenter at Costa Rica, Youth Revival prayer group, coordinated Youth Sunday services and was chaplain of the Chancel Senior Choir.

Sandra entered the United Lutheran Theological Seminary Masters of Divinity degree and fell more deeply in prayer life, sermons, and children's liturgy. She's now a senior serving as seminarian intern at Emmanuel Resurrection Episcopal Church.