The Rev. Canon Jeffrey A. Mackey, Priest in charge
After seventeen years of ministry in the free-church tradition, The Rev. Canon Jeffrey A. Mackey, Ph.D., DD, was ordained a deacon and priest in The Episcopal Church in 1993. He was the Associate Rector of Historic Grace Church, Utica, NY from 1991-1996. He received his Anglican training at The General Theological Seminary in New York City. He also holds the Doctor of Ministry in Poetry from The Graduate Theological Foundation, and the Ph.D. from Trinity Bible College and Theological Seminary. He has also been honored with four honorary degrees.
Following Utica, the Mackeys moved to Western Louisiana to aid a parish and a mission following the sudden death of their Rector. After ten months there, a Rector position was held in North Bellmore, Long Island, New York. In 1999 the President of Nyack College asked Fr. Jeffrey to become Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and English Bible, as well as Assistant Vice President and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. That was followed by service as Vice President and Academic Dean of Trinity (Episcopal) School for Ministry near Pittsburgh. Then the Mackeys moved to Orchard Park, New York for a one-year interim rector position at St. Mark’s Parish, followed by an assignment as Vicar, then Rector of Trinity Church, Melrose, Florida. Under his leadership, the mission of over 100 years, reached parish status.
Father Jeffrey’s ministry is augmented, strengthened, and brought to full flower by his wife, LaVonne. In 2021 they will celebrate 50 years of marriage (they were mere children when married!). LaVonne, a librarian, moved with Father Jeffrey to Glen Alpine in 2018. There, they bought a closed Evangelical Methodist parish church and have done extensive renovations, making it their home. They are privileged to be serving Christ at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
St Paul’s Vestry
Mike McAninch, Senior Warden
Bill Fensterer, Junior Warden
Ex Officio Members
Phil Wells, Treasurer
Margaret Dudley Ashby, Retired
Reverend Margaret Ashby began her ministry with St Paul’s on November 1, 2015, and retired on October 31, 2020. Together, the congregation of St Paul’s with Rev Margaret continued to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, receive new members, and celebrate the Saints that have made and keep St Paul’s a vibrant and thriving congregation spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus in our community for over 110 years. We wish Rev. Margaret and Gerald, her husband, a well-deserved time of retirement and give you thanks for both of you for your love and service.
Rev. Margaret and Gerald live in Asheville, near their daughter and her family. Rev. Margaret was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts. She received her Associate's Degree in Textile & Surface Design in 1992 from The Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY) in New York City and worked professionally as a Textile Designer for Glenoit Mills in NYC until 1994. Hearing the call of the Lord, she studied for ministry at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio completing her Master of Divinity Degree in 2006. She was ordained to Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on July 22, 2006, at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg VA, and accepted a call to the Pleasant View Evangelical Lutheran Church, Staunton VA. She served as Pastor from 2006-2009. In 2011 the Ashby’s were able to retire to Asheville. In 2015, the North Carolina Lutheran Synod and the Western North Carolina Episcopal Diocese asked her to consider accepting a part-time call to St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Morganton.
The Lutheran and Episcopal churches have been in full communion since 2000 and Reverend Margaret was able to move seamlessly into the life
of the WNC Episcopal Diocese. Serving under the oversight of two bishops she has been one of the many bridges of unity in The Church.
On May 9, 2015, our Rector Jim Rains, retired after 6 wonderful years as a part of St. Paul's family.
An avid hiker of the Appalachian Trail, Father Jim was drawn to the mountains. He served the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rangeley, Maine, where he developed a hospitality ministry to hikers on the Appalachian Trail. After seven years he was called to be rector of Trinity Church, Lewiston, Maine, and chaplain to the Episcopal students at Bates College. He met his wife, Sharon, an artist from Kennebunkport, Maine, and they were married in 1980.
On the Feast of Pentecost, 2009, Fr. Jim celebrated his first Eucharist at St. Paul’s, Lake James, as their rector. During the next 6 years, the church thrived, and in 2014 hosted an Alpha Course. Under his leadership, St. Paul’s has renewed its ties with the Diocese of Western North Carolina and became active in diocesan activities and ministries.