Fr. Tim — celebrating 20 years of ministry

Apr 25, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Timothy McRee

Father Timothy McRee (Fr. Tim), Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 99 Academy St., in Canton, has celebrated 20 years as an ordained priest; 17 of those years have been served in Canton.  The church was a mission of the Episcopal Church, that was originally located near the present day Evergreen Paper Mill site in downtown Canton, but was later built on its Academy Street location in 1922.
McRee was born in Hickory, but grew up in the town of Newton.  As a teenager, he attended the Episcopal Church’s Camp Henry Program, where he met his future wife, Beverly Adams. They married and have two children, Erin, a UNC-Asheville graduate, and Daniel, who will graduate from Evergreen State University in Olympia, Washington, this spring.
After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in history from Appalachian State University (1979), he served as curator for the Catawba County Museum of History. From 1983-89, McRee served as the historic site manager for the restoration of the 19th century water-powered and flour mill complex at Murray’s Mill in Catawba County. He received a Master of Divinity from The School of Theology, University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1992.  Before being called to St. Andrew’s, McRee served as a chaplain intern in the N.C. Baptist Hospitals in Winston-Salem, as a seminarian assistant at The Church of the Transfiguration in Bat Cave, and as assistant rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville.
When McRee arrived at St. Andrew’s in 1995, he found a physical plant that was suffering from nearly a half-century of deferred maintenance and benign neglect. There was much that needed to be done to bring the beautiful facilities up to code and into the 21st century. Since McRee’s arrival, more than $1.25 million in capital improvements have been completed. These included new roofing, the addition of a gathering space, installation of an elevator, renovation and restructuring of the old rectory for use for Christian education and formation activities, parking lot pavement, construction of playground facilities and more.  
One of the activities McRee is proud of was the “burning of the mortgage celebration” that took place last fall. About $800,000 in debt was paid off between 2003 and 2012.  In addition, through parishioner contributions and gifts, a new Allen organ was installed in 2012, a Children’s Fund endowment project was begun in 2011 and a Hope for the Future endowment project was begun in 2012 to ensure stability of St. Andrew’s in the future.
Over the years, McRee’s ministry has been wide spread, and he has served in numerous capacities throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Western N.C. He currently is serving as the chair of the Lake Logan Episcopal Center Board of Directors.
In McRee’s free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, camping, hunting and outdoor sports. He also enjoys spiritual reading, antique hunting and studying local history.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church offers many Christian formation opportunities. McRee has led the Education for Ministry (EFM) since 1993, a graduate level class that explores the Bible, the philosophers, and church history on Tuesday evenings. He leads Bible study classes Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings and conducts a service of healing following the Thursday morning class. Sundays offer meditation classes, inquiry classes, and children’s Sunday school classes that utilize the Godly Play program. An informal worship service is held Saturday evenings and Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. All are welcomed. For information on St. Andrew’s-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, call 648-7550.