Rev. Kingsley Obi Jon-Ubabuco was the Vicar of St. Philip's from 2007, and became the first Rector of the church in November 2016 when St Philip's became a full-fledged parish in the Diocese of Fort Worth. The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, canonically and formally installed him as First Rector of St. Philip's Church on March 18, 2017.
(Rev. & Mrs. Jon-Ubabuco with their Children/Family at the Installation Service - March 18, 2017)
Rev. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco was born in Nigeria. His parents were very active in the political, social, and religious spheres of pre-and post-independence Nigeria. Growing up in the 1950′s and 60′s, Fr. Kingsley was highly influenced by these familial and other backgrounds. His maternal grand-father was an Anglican clergyman. And for successive generations, there have always been Anglican priests in the family. Fr. Kingsley, himself, had a sense of call to the ordained ministry by his Confirmation in July 1965. However, it took many years and twists and turns before the full realization of this call to the sacred order of the priesthood. Prior to the process to the ordained ministry, he was the Publisher of Free Press Newspaper and First Magazine in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.
It was while living in England that Rev. Jon-Ubabuco started the exploration process to the ordained ministry in 1990. But it was later in the United States that he had his formal "process and formation" in his home diocese of North Carolina. He received support all the way through the process, leading to his seminary years, and ordinations to the Diaconate and to the Priesthood. (Bishop Iker ordained him to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood, on behalf of Bishop of North Carolina, the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry- the current Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church). Bishop Curry granted Letters Dimissory to Fr. Kingsley to transfer to the Diocese of Fort Worth without. Fr. Kingsley remains grateful for this Christian charity and love from the Bishop and people of his home diocese of North Carolina for the enormous cost of his preparation/process, and years of seminary.
Following his ordination to the Diaconate, Rev. Jon-Ubabuco served as a Curate at St. Paul’s-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Chicago until his appointment as the Vicar of St. Philip’s Arlington in June 2007 and his ordination to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood in Arlington, Texas, by the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, the Bishop of Fort Worth in June 2007.
Fr. Kingsley has knowledge and education that span extensively across a very wide range of fields – theology, sociology, anthropology, criminology, law, morality, ethics, politics, the arts, and current affairs.
Fr. Kingsley attended various colleges and graduate schools. He earned his:
Bachelor of Arts degree from Wingate University, Wingate NC; Master of Arts degree (Liberal Studies – Concentration in Ethics, Politics and Law) from the University of North Carolina (UNCC) at Charlotte, NC;
Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice (Criminology) from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville (UWPlatt); and
Master of Divinity degree (with Honors) from the School of Theology (Seminary) of the University of the South, Sewanee TN.
Fr. Kingsley attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC for one year for the Master of Theological Studies degree program.
He also attended the Law School of the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Durham NC. But before the completion of the Juris Doctor (JD) degree program, he became a Postulant to Holy Orders, and had to go to the Seminary for the three years for his M.Div.
Fr. Kingsley is currently completing (writing his dissertation) his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Leadership and Organizational Management at Piedmont International University, Winston Salem, North Carolina.
The Rev. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco is not wishy-washy in his theological convictions. He is un- apologetic in his conservative theological positions, and is not shy in expressing his views in his writings, blog postings, preaching, and teaching. He refuses to accept the contemporary views of Christianity that distort its essence and fundamentals, and casts it as an ancient religion that has little or nothing to offer a modern world.
Fr. Kingsley sees and defends the teachings and the premises of Christianity as relevant, and indeed, needed for all ages and at all times. He says: “This ancient religion is of eternal relevance because it is essentially the Divine revelation and the relationship with the Most High, through Our Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing else in life comes even close in relevance.” Fr. Kingsley has a very high view of the ordained ministry and the Sacraments of the Christian Church. He values the contributions of the Church Fathers and the Caroline Divines, such as William Laud, Lancelot Andrewes, Richard Hooker, etc. who for centuries proclaimed and defended the faith without fear, but with conviction. Theologians St Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas are some of the heroes of the faith that Rev. Jon-Ubabuco admires. As a passionate advocate for Anglicanism, he also admires Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, for his 1549 work in compiling and completing the Book of Common Prayer. Fr. Kingsley believes that the theology and liturgy of the Anglican Church represent the beauty and integrity of orthodox Christianity.
Fr. Kingsley and his wife, Mabel Ify Jon-Ubabuco, have been married since 1982. They are blessed with six children (five sons and a daughter) and two grandchildren.
Rev. Kingsley & Mrs. Ifey Mabel Jon-Ubabuco with their six children at the Wedding of the oldest son, Chuka, to the former Ms. Cynthia Nkechi Isoh November 2012 in Arlington, Texas.