The Rev. Robert L. Sessum will retire Aug. 31 as rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church at 355 East Main Street, a position he has held for 16 years.
Sessum, 67, guided the church in a social action program including resettlement of refugees and working with three other churches to establish the Mission Lexington Medical Clinic, providing free medical care to adults.
He was co-founder of "24 Hours on the Street", which allowed individuals to experience homelessness for a night.
Sessum was active in the Downtown Lexington Corp. for nine years, serving as president for three of those years. And he was president of Faith Community Housing Foundation, which built affordable housing in the community. The church is heavily involved in the Hope Center, Room in the Inn, Meals on Wheels and 30-Hour Famine.
The church raised about $500,000 this year for restoration of stained glass windows in the church.
Sessum and his wife, Donna, will continue to live in Lexington.