The Rev. Kenneth Parris

Deacon / Chaplain, Colonel, USAF Auxiliary / Law Enforcement Chaplain
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

The Reverend (Colonel) Kenneth W. Parris, Ch, CAP, was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California on December 2, 1995; the 33rd anniversary of his baptism. His home parish is Christ Church, Alameda. Deacon Parris is a Life Member of the Association for Episcopal Deacons and holds memberships in the Military Chaplains Association, International Conference of Police Chaplains, and the Society of Catholic Priests.

Deacon Parris is currently a Deacon at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. His parochial assignments include Christ Church, Alameda as Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults; St. Anselm’s, Lafayette as Parish Deacon and Youth Minister; St. Paul’s, Oakland as Parish Deacon; St. James', Fremont as Parish Deacon; and Grace Cathedral, San Francisco as Deacon. Deacon Parris was appointed by Bishop Marc Andrus to serve on the Diocesan Ad Hoc Committee on Gun Violence Prevention (2014-2015).

Endorsed by The Episcopal Church's Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries for military chaplaincy, Chaplain Parris is assigned as a Pacific Region Staff Chaplain, Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Corps, US Air Force Auxiliary. As a US Air Force Auxiliary Chaplain he holds the grade of Chaplain, Colonel and is a qualified Mission Chaplain. His aeronautical ratings include Solo Pilot and Senior Air Observer. Chaplain Parris has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since joining as a Cadet in Florida Wing in 1976. Having extensive experience in the Civil Air Patrol, he has served in command positions at the flight, squadron, group, and wing levels. His senior command assignment was as the California Wing Commander (2007-2011), in charge of 3,600 members, in over 70 units with over 29 aircraft across the entire state. In addition to serving several tours on staff at California Wing Headquarters and Pacific Region Headquarters, Chaplain Parris' career has included assignments at National Headquarters as the National Inspector General, Assistant to the National Vice Commander, and National Deputy Executive Officer. Chaplain Parris is a graduate of the US Air Force Installation Inspector General Training Course, Wing Commanders' Course, National Staff College, Pacific Region Chaplain Corps Staff College, Inspector General College, Legal Officer College, Safety Officer College, National Emergency Services Academy Mission Chaplain Train-the-Trainer Course, Unit Commanders' Course, Corporate Learning Course, Squadron Leadership School, California Wing Ground Search & Rescue School and Civil Air Patrol Officer's Basic Course. Chaplain Parris has served as an Escort Officer for the International Air Cadet Exchange, having been on exchange to Canada (2002), Israel (2010), Ghana (2013), and Australia (2017). His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Clasp, Meritorious Service Award with Bronze Clasp, National Commander's Commendation, Region Commander's Commendation with Bronze Clasp, Wing Commander's Commendations, and Achievement Award with Bronze Clasp among numerous other awards.

Chaplain Parris has served as Chaplain Command Advisor and Police Chaplain for the Oakland Police Department and is a founding Police Chaplain of the Oakland Police Chaplain Corps. Chaplain Parris holds the grade of Chaplain (Lieutenant), Oakland Police Chaplain Corps. He was awarded the Gold Star of a Command Chaplain by the Chief of Police in 2017. Additionally, Chaplain Parris serves as a Sheriff’s Chaplain for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and Police Chaplain for the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department.

A graduate of the Episcopal School for Deacons in Berkeley, Deacon Parris holds a Bachelor of Theological Studies (1995). Additionally, he holds a BA in Political Science from California State University, East Bay (1987) and an AA with Honors in Social & Behavioral Science from Merritt College, Oakland (1985). He is a graduate of the 114th Recruit School of the Oakland Police Academy (1985). Deacon Parris received a Diplomate credential from the International Conference of Police Chaplains in 2017. He is a graduate of the only California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training certified course for law enforcement chaplains. Deacon Parris has also been awarded Advanced, Supervisory and Management certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Deacon Parris is a former US Army Reserve Infantry Officer and was commissioned in 1983 at the University of California, Berkeley Army ROTC program. He served 8 years in the US Army Reserve, during which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Infantry Branch Qualification Cord.

Deacon Parris is a retired (Nov 2012) Lieutenant of Police, Oakland Police Department with 27 years of service where he received the Oakland Police Medal of Merit among numerous other awards. 

Deacon Parris has travelled abroad visiting Australia, Canada (including Québec), England, Ghana, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico and Puerto Rico. However, his favorite destination for travel is Hawai’i…any island.