About Us

Companions on the Road

Our story is simple. It bears a striking resemblance to Luke’s account of the two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus. A “chance” meeting brought us together, the newly ordained Rev. Emilie Finn, and long-time Youth Director, Deb (Anderson) Tickell. Walks through a local neighborhood following weekly Bible study, and a mutual call, prompted the desire to plant an Episcopal Church in our community.

We prayed in earnest about this possibility until one evening the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit prompted immediate action. Soon a group began to form, giving rise to an initial discernment team, the members of which promptly confirmed and added to our vision. Within weeks we began facilitating both a continually growing youth group and what later evolved into an adult launch team.

Conceived in February, 2014, and born officially with the October 18, 2014, recognition at the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona’s Annual Convention, the fledgling Emmaus Church Plant is, like any baby, a source of joy and hope.

On behalf of the emerging Emmaus Community, we request your prayer and support and invite you to Come & See!

In Christ’s Love,
Rev. Emilie Finn and
Missioner Deb Tickell


Deb Tickell

Deb holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. She has served for over ten years in youth ministry in the Diocese of Arizona. Before joining Emmaus full-time, Deb worked 23 years in marketing, political relations, event planning, and communications.
She is a 13-year resident of Surprise and the mother of two teenagers.

The Rev. Emilie Finn

Founding Priest
Emilie holds an M.Div from Yale Divinity School. She has completed Episcopal Evangelism Network trainings and reading classes at Yale Divinity School, and Community Organizing Training at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She also served for five years as Co-Director of Quixote’s Garage: a Catholic Worker community in Prescott, Arizona.

Our team

As there were two disciples on the road to Emmaus, this project was begun, and, we believe, is being led by the Holy Spirit as a partnership. Our vision is to respond in kind, facilitating partnerships at every intersection.

The concept of partnership is built into the DNA of Emmaus, Surprise. Clergy and staff: Design structural components and identify key leaders, Help our members discern their individual ministries,Encourage and equip them to build teams and grow their own ministries, creating multiple partnerships and webs of collaboration within the Emmaus community and beyond.This has led to a team of adults and youth who are committed both individually and as a group to the launch of Arizona's newest Episcopal Church. Our members' diverse backgrounds position the team for success. Each is dedicated to contributing from their own talent, and to recruiting other leaders with complimentary skill sets. Their focus remains on worship and study, and to working in true community and partnership to follow this call.