The Rev. Andy Anderson
The Rev’d Dr. Andy Anderson began serving as the fourth Executive Director of St. Mary’s Sewanee: The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development in September 2017. He joined St. Mary’s Sewanee to continue building upon the vision and expanding impact of the retreat center.
“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 many times during seminary years to know the quiet and refreshment from the beauty of holiness it offers,” Anderson remarks. “After beginning a Centering Prayer practice in the late 1990’s, I began attending retreats and other events at here. It’s a part of my spiritual DNA and has continued to enrich and enliven my life and ministry.”
Anderson brings experience from both the church and the business world to this work. Previously he was Rector of the historic Church of the Nativity in Huntsville, Alabama. He joined Nativity in 2003 and brought stability and growth in ministries to the 1,800-member parish, initially leading the parish through a long-range visioning process that resulted in master planning and a $4.1 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.” Andy fosters creative ministries, hoping to build community, spiritual growth, and service. One of the south’s premier local grower’s and artisan markets, the Greene Street Market at Nativity was begun during his tenure and is thriving in its eighth season.
Before Nativity, Anderson served as Rector of Grace Church in Anderson, South Carolina, 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 as Canon Educator for Children, Youth and Family Ministries. Prior to his ordination in 1994, Anderson had a career in corporate banking, primarily with the SunTrust in Atlanta.
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. He has served the wider church and Sewanee in many capacities and looks forward to strengthening connections between St. Mary’s Sewanee and the wider Church as well as with interfaith collaborations. He and his wife Tippy have been married for more than 35 years and have two adult children, Case and Sally, who like Andy and Tippy, consider Sewanee home. Andy loves hiking on the Domain, travel, Southern literature, art, and spending time with family including their two terriers Todi and Gio.
Andy has a regular Centering Prayer practice and is a certified Centering Prayer Workshop Facilitator.
“I am excited to continue my journey in the capacity as Executive Director. I believe in our mission and 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. I have been nurtured by St. Mary’s Sewanee’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.”