Clergy and Staff
The Very Rev. Canon Frank M. Alton, DMin, Provost
Frank is the Provost at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul and the Pastor of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church. He has served this congregation for six years. Prior to coming to St. Athanasius, Frank was the pastor at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church for fifteen years. In addition to pastoral duties there, Frank was active in congregation based community organizing throughout Los Angeles, focusing his attention primarily on the areas of immigration, education, housing and labor.
Frank graduated from seminary with an MDiv in 1977 and was first ordained as a Presbyterian pastor in 1978. In the middle of his seminary years he spent sixteen months in Costa Rica and Colombia, learning Spanish and serving as a campus minister. After seminary he served for seven years as Associate Pastor at the Bel Air Presbyterian Church. While there he led mission trips to Africa, Mexico, El Salvador, Northern Ireland and Louisiana, and spent a sabbatical in Lima, Peru. He completed his DMin in 1985.
While on sabbatical in Lima, Peru in 1984 working among squatters and studying Liberation Theology, Frank sensed a call to start a ministry in Mexico City, living and working among the urban poor, and hosting a program for seminary students to do part of their theological training in that setting. He spent nine years there, teaching in two seminaries, coordinating a project of community transformation, and hosting over 300 people on immersion experiences. In 1995, he returned to Los Angeles to become the pastor at Immanuel.
In 2010, Frank was confirmed as an Episcopalian, and was ordained as a priest in 2012. He has been at St Athanasius since that time. He has three grown children and four grandchildren, and is married to Saul Renteria.
The Rev. Yein Esther Kim, Parish Associate
Born in Seoul, Korea in an Anglican family, with a long history of Anglican priests in the lineage, Yein studied Political Science and International Politics in college and graduate school. She graduated from seminary with an MDiv with focus on Liturgy. She completed her Clinical Pastoral Education at Good Samaritan Hospital, and was ordained to priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
She has lived in many cities and countries including Toronto, Canada, Beijing, China and Cambridge, USA. In addition to English and Korean, she speaks Chinese (Mandarin) and wants to add Spanish to the list.
She is the primary pastor for the Korean congregation at St. Athanasius, and works with Fr. Frank for the Spanish and English congregations. Her participation in Asian/Multicultural ministries goes beyond the Diocese as she participates actively in Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry (EAM), Li Tim-Oi Center, and Iona Collaborative. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union.
She lives in Redondo Beach at the Rectory of Christ Episcopal Church, where her husband Fr. Nick C. Griffith serves as the Rector.
James French, Music Director/Organist
Jim began his multi-faceted career as child musician in his father’s churches, moving to Music Director positions in Washington, D.C., Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. French moved to Maui during the 1991-92 Season to serve as Music Director and Conductor of the Maui Symphony Orchestra, presented in Hawaii’s premiere concert hall, Castle Theater in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. French was featured for his work with MSO creating concert theater performances in ASOL’s Symphony Magazine and was critically acclaimed in numerous reviews by the local press. French has directed Joseph and His Multi-Colored Dream Coat, Oliver, The Importance of Being Earnest, Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, Chorus Line, Pirates of Penzance, Mikado, and H. M. S. Pinafore on the professional stage. Along with being an orchestral conductor, French has been active as a composer, church musician, and recitalist at the pipe organ, harpsichord, and piano. French taught vocal music, directed choirs and music dramas at Luther Burbank Junior High School and Burbank High School where he founded and trained teachers in the Show Choir concepts.
French serves as Music Director/Organist here at The Cathedral Center of St. Paul, enjoys teaching Creative Writing, and family life with wife Claudia and their seven most accomplished children.