The Rev. E. Clifford Cutler, Rector

The Reverend Edward Clifford Cutler became Saint Paul’s eleventh rector in February 2006.  A “rector” is the member of the clergy who has overall leadership of a church such as Saint Paul’s.

Cliff, yes you can call him Cliff.  Kids can too, though many parents prefer that their children address him as Fr. Cliff (some Mr. Cliff!), and others Fr. Cutler or Mr. Cutler.

Cliff is a native Philadelphian, born in Germantown and grew up in Montgomery County along the banks of the Wissahickon.  He graduated from Germantown Academy in 1967.  After graduating with a major in psychology from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1971, he worked as membership and public relations director for McBurney YMCA in New York City, which is where he met his future wife, Amy.  Cliff and Amy are the parents of two sons, Evan and Seth.

After two years in Manhattan, Cliff left to attend the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1976.  He served as an assistant at St. George’s Church in Ardmore, and then sought out an inner city assignment.  He spent seven years as vicar of St. Luke’s Church in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  There he was elected Dean of Fairmount.

In 1985, Cliff was called as rector to St. Stephen’s in Cohasset, Massachusetts where he served 21 years.  Active in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Cliff was dean of the South Shore at the time of his call to Saint Paul’s.

In February 2011, for a third time, Cliff was elected dean, this time of Wissahickon.  The position of dean affords him the opportunity to work with leaders of Episcopal churches throughout northwest Philadelphia.  Cliff has a passion to lead parishes and people into the open place where God sets each one securely (Psalms 18:20 and 31:8).  That is why we say at Saint Paul’s you will find open doors, open minds and open hearts.

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The Rev. Emmanuel Ato Mercer
Assistant Rector


Emmanuel comes to us after serving four years as the Canon Associate for Pastoral Care at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina. There he was responsible for youth ministries and supervised young adult ministries. He authored weekly communication with Sunday school teachers. A very fine pastor on hospital and home visits, he has a sharp theological mind and warmly weaves in the pastoral with his preaching.

Emmanuel earned his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University in Atlanta, and went on to receive a Master of Sacred Theology and Certificate in Anglican Studies from Yale University. After serving at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, Emmanuel enrolled in the University of South Carolina School of Law to see if he had the calling to follow in his father’s footsteps (he did not). He left law school and served various churches on Sundays while looking for a full time position. We are most fortunate to have him join our staff here at Saint Paul’s.

Emmanuel was born and grew up in the West African country of Ghana. He is married to Monique who hails from New York City. They have two girls Havilynd and Frances who will be eight and seven this year, and a dachshund named Sweetie!

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The Rev. Robert Michael Davidson

Rob joined the staff at St. Paul’s  on the first Sunday of Advent in 2010.  After college at Lehigh University and two years as an officer in the Army infantry, he started as a sales representative for IBM, then set up his own computer consulting company.  He met his wife of 45 years during his first year at IBM. They have four grown sons and five grandchildren.

Rob’s journey to ordained ministry included service as a Sunday school teacher, lector, chalice bearer, EFM graduate, vestry member, prison volunteer, Diocesan stewardship chair, and parish Verger. He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 2008.  As a seminarian  he served at the Philadelphia Cathedral, St. James Downingtown, and Calvary – St. Augustine in west Philadelphia.  He says one of the greatest days in his life was June 6, 2009 when he was ordained to the sacred order of Deacons by Bishop Edward Lee.

He is a member of the Diocesan Stewardship Committee, the Episcopal representative on the LTSP alumni board, board member of the non-profit serving the Belmont community in west Philadelphia, member of the Association for Episcopal Deacons, and ECAP (Episcopal Clergy Association of Pennsylvania). He made his Cursillo weekend in October of 2008. Around St. Paul’s he is a consultant to the Stewardship committee, a member of the pastoral care, welcoming, and worship committees. He is fond of sung liturgy, evensong services, preaching, and all parish gatherings. Look for him on Facebook!

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