A MESSAGE FROM THE SR. WARDEN
May 17, 2022
Dear St. John’s family,
It is my great pleasure to announce that the Rev. Thomas Alonzo “Lonnie” Lacy II has accepted our call to serve as the twenty-eighth rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tallahassee.
Fr. Lonnie was the unanimous choice of our Rector Search Committee, a diverse group representing a wide range of St. John’s parishioners. Bishop John Howard recently affirmed the call, and today, Fr. Lonnie received a unanimous vote of approval from the St. John’s Vestry. We are delighted to welcome Lonnie as our next rector. His first Sunday of ministry at St. John’s will be August 7, 2022.
Lonnie is currently the rector of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Tifton, Georgia, a parish he has led since 2009. Before being called to his current position, Lonnie served as Assistant Rector at Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro, Georgia and as the Episcopal chaplain for Georgia Southern University. He is a congregational development trainer through the Church Development Institute, has served as Chair of the Diocesan Examining Chaplains, and often serves as a chaplain for diocesan youth programs such as Happening and New Beginnings.
After earning a Master in Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, Lonnie was ordained as a priest in 2006. His undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Reinhardt University. Lonnie and his wife, Jay, have two wonderful children, whom we look forward to welcoming to St. John’s.
We are so grateful for the year-long discernment process that helped us discover more deeply who we are as a parish and what we needed in our next rector. When our search committee met Fr. Lonnie, they heard the call with clarity. Lonnie loves God and he loves God’s people. He expresses his faith with such joy that you can’t help but feel thankful for God’s love and saving grace. Lonnie’s energy and welcoming personality are balanced with vision, a pastoral nature, and a passion for preaching about the love of Jesus. He will meet everyone right where they are and guide us in conversation with God. We are looking forward to the beginning of an exciting new chapter together. Following this letter, please find a special written message from Fr. Lonnie and some family photos.
Finally, please join me in expressing our deep appreciation to the St. John’s Rector Search Committee: Martin Proctor, chair, Laurye Messer, vice chair, Gene Adams, Sarah Michael Anderson, Brian Arsenault, Alan Asker, David Grimes, Lina Knox, Cricket Mannheimer, Virginia Perkins, Neil Rambana, and Corinna Strayer. We put our trust in them, and they saw us through and kept us engaged throughout the discernment process. We are so grateful for this dedicated group!
We are working with the Diocese to appoint a short-term interim who will see us through Mother Abi’s last day in late June and Lonnie’s arrival in early August. We will share that information with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please keep Fr. Lonnie and the Lacy family, St. Anne’s, and St. John’s in your prayers as we move through this exciting time of transition.
A MESSAGE FROM FR. LONNIE:
Dear People of St. John’s,
Alleluia, Christ is risen! In this blessed Eastertide as our Lord continues to make all things new, I am overcome with joy to be called to serve as your new rector.
St. John’s is a special place. Through your gifts for beautiful music and liturgy, your stalwart dedication to outreach, your love for Jesus, and your genuinely winsome, welcoming spirit, God has made St. John’s a beacon of grace, hope, and love to countless souls for nearly two centuries. With so many great days behind you, I am excited to walk with you through the even greater days to come.
My family and I come to you from nearby Tifton, Georgia where I have served thirteen happy years as the rector of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. St. Anne’s is best known for its vibrant liturgy, strong youth programs, and a profound commitment to the love, healing, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ. As a priest, my passions lie in liturgy, teaching scripture, cultivating strong lay leaders, and—above all—preaching the timeless message of God’s grace. In my off time, I enjoy cooking, camping, art, graphic design, and anything else that allows me to be creative.
My wife Jay works in the insurance industry and enjoys playing an active role in the life of our church and diocese. Jay and I will celebrate our eighteenth wedding anniversary on August 7, which also happens to be our first Sunday at St. John’s. Our children Kendall and Dean are rising seventh and ninth graders. Both are dedicated acolytes and have a passion for choral music. Our entire family is eager to meet you!
I want to thank your wonderful search committee and their co-chairs Martin Proctor and Laurye Messer. It was through Martin and Laurye’s gentle invitations that I began to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, and that voice was confirmed as I met the members of your search committee. Their trust in one another and love for St. John’s were evident from day one, and they have been exquisitely honest, thorough, supportive, and kind through the entire process. Please join me in offering your deepest gratitude for their months of discernment and hard work.
I know it has been a long wait, but don’t worry: the Lacys are coming! We’ll make our move over the summer, and by the time August begins we’ll be firmly planted at St. John’s where we hope to lay deep roots for years to come.
In the meantime, God bless you. I am praying for all of you, and I cannot wait to see you soon.
Grace and peace,