St. Mary's Sewanee Spiritual Retreat Center announces Rev. Andy Anderson as the new executive director

St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Dr. E. Lucius “Andy” Anderson III as its fourth Executive Director effective in early September.  Anderson joins St. Mary’s Sewanee to continue building upon St. Mary’s Sewanee’s vision, expanding reach, and facilities development that have marked its growth over the last decade. 

Anderson most recently has served as the Rector of the Church of the Nativity in Huntsville, Alabama since 2003.  Anderson brought stability and growth in ministries to the 1800 member parish, initially leading the parish through a long-range visioning process that resulted in master planning and a $4.2 million successful capital campaign to renovate the 1859 National Historic Landmark Church and eliminate the parish’s debt to acquire adjacent property in downtown Huntsville.  After physically “building the Church, “ Anderson spent his energy and leadership “building the church spiritually in formation, mission, and ministry,” embracing the Catechumenate for new member incorporation, RenewalWorks Spiritual Development Ministries of Forward Movement, and expanding the parish’s outreach efforts including establishing one of the south’s premier local Grower’s and Artisan Markets, The Greene Street Market at Nativity.  Nativity has a long tradition of supporting Centering Prayer and Anderson is in the process of becoming a certified Centering Prayer Workshop Facilitator through Contemplative Outreach.  

Before his tenure at Nativity, Anderson served as Rector of Grace Church in Anderson, SC, where he led the parish through extensive strategic planning and a capital campaign to renovate and expand the historic church.  Anderson initially served in ordained ministry at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, GA, as Canon Educator for Children, Youth and Family Ministries, embracing and leading a vision for ministry that saw tremendous growth.  

R. Dale Grimes, President of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Sewanee, said “The Board of Trustees is thrilled to welcome Andy as the new executive director of St. Mary’s Sewanee.  Andy is absolutely the right person to take on these duties at this time.  He brings to St. Mary’s Sewanee his extensive experience in spiritual development programming and activities, service to and leadership in the Episcopal Church, financial and administrative acumen, and significant and proven fundraising ability.  We are excited about the possibilities for our future with Andy as our Executive Director as we enter a new phase of growth in programming and campus development.”

In recent years, St. Mary’s Sewanee has accomplished a number of goals in the plans envisioned by the Board.  The Anna House, completed four years ago as the Center’s newest lodging facility, has been fully brought on line, providing more hospitality options for its guests by allowing accommodation of larger groups as well as simultaneous use by multiple groups.  The quality and number of its programs have increased, including a new relationship with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, which has commenced a four-part program, the Soul of Leadership, at St. Mary’s Sewanee.  Many other programs offered by long-time St. Mary's Sewanee presenters have been able to make use of the Center’s new and upgraded facilities on a year-round basis.  

Andy Anderson returns to the Mountain with the enthusiasm and skills to lead St. Mary’s Sewanee forward in this ongoing expansion of facilities and programs.  “I first experienced St. Mary’s as a thin holy place of spiritual connection to God on an Advent Quiet Day my first year at the School of Theology in 1991.  I returned to St. Mary’s many times during seminary years to know the quiet and refreshment from the beauty of holiness St. Mary’s offers,” Anderson remarks.  “After beginning a Centering Prayer practice in the late 1990’s, I began attending retreats and other events at St. Mary’s.  It’s a part of my spiritual DNA and has continued to enrich and enliven my life and ministry.  I have been nurtured by St. Mary’s mission and its heart of prayerfulness and it will be a privilege to give back to this sacred and beautiful place that has given so much to me and to others.  I am excited to continue my journey in the capacity as Executive Director and look forward to the great work of building upon what John Runkle and the fine staff and St. Mary’s Board have launched.  I believe in our mission, having served with fundraising efforts to help get us where we are today.  I look forward to leading the efforts to allow others to be a part of contributing to St. Mary’s mission with their time, talent, and financial resources.”  

A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Anderson holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Masters of Divinity honoris causa from The School of Theology at Sewanee, a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Georgia.  Prior to ordination in 1994, Anderson had a successful career in corporate banking with the SunTrust Banks.  He has served the wider church and Sewanee in many capacities and looks forward to strengthening St. Mary’s connections to the wider Church as well as in interfaith collaborations.  He and his wife Tippy (the former Tippen Harvey of Rome, Georgia)  have been married for almost 36 years and have two adult children, Case and Sally, who like Andy and Tippy, consider Sewanee home.