Skip navigation


Our Priest


The Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2008 after being inspired by Roman Catholic priests in Nigeria teaching human rights law to their congregations. She went from the field of Human Rights based in Washington, D.C. to faith-based community organizing in South Texas before attending divinity school in her hometown of Austin. Carissa has built her family with her wife, Pam McGinnis. They are the proud parents of three profound and powerful children.

Carissa loves contemplative prayer, funk music, and a good dance party. She serves on the boards of St. Francis Ministries in Salina, Kansas and the Episcopal Foundation of Texas in Houston. She is the current president of the alumni steering committee for the Seminary of the Southwest.

Before being commissioned to start Northside Episcopal Church, Carissa served Episcopal congregations in Houston and Los Angeles with a consistent focus on spirituality and social justice.

“I was not born to plant a church. But in 2019 I was called. I have come to understand that this was a sacred opportunity to explore an unsatisfied vocational hunger while attempting to meet the spiritual needs of my non-traditional family; all the while attempting to help realize a vision for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. I had been healed in some ways by my time in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. So, where else but Northside to pursue authenticity and future church?”


Our Musician

Dina "Liz" Gutierrez - Interim Music Leader

Our Youth Coach: heart, mind, soul, strength

Joy Chanslor is a passionate leader and community advocate. Through a supportive and nurturing approach, she leads our youth activities to cultivate character, empower with essential life skills, and inspire a confident outlook on life. Joy is studying Political Science and Administration of Justice at Texas Southern University. In her free time, you'll probably find her sweating it out at the gym or hanging out with her family. Joy grew up in Houston and looks forward to connecting with the youth of our community and neighborhood.