Dean McKeachie

The Very Rev’d William McKeachie retired as Dean of South Carolina and Rector of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston on May 1, 2009, and was named Dean Emeritus.  Whilst continuing to be canonically resident in the Diocese of South Carolina, Dean McKeachie has assumed a part-time “retirement” appointment  as Ministry Associate at St. Andrew’s Parish, Fort Worth.  Dean McKeachie  continues as President of Mere Anglicanism, an international theological network of clergy and laity.  His parochial and liturgical duties at St. Andrew’s, Fort Worth, have been defined in such a way as to allow him to serve as a “bridge builder” and facilitator of relationships among and between individuals and institutions within the Anglican Communion, both inside and outside the Episcopal Church in the United States. As Ministry Associate, Dean McKeachie will share in the clergy’s pastoral, liturgical and homiletical responsibilities and will work closely with the Associate Vestry, the Men of St. Andrew’s, and the Organist/Choirmaster.  William has expressed particular appreciation for the 1928 Prayer Book tradition of the  parish, its  commitment to  Anglican sacred music, and  the preaching and teaching leadership of the Rector, Dr. Dickson.

During his fourteen years as Dean of South Carolina,  William  served as President of the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in South Carolina as well as President of the Christian/Jewish Council.  Dean McKeachie worked with the Mayor of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, senior citizen housing, The Citadel,  and the Harriott Pinckney Mission to Seafarers, among other organizations.  He gave the Invocation at the 1999 Dedication of the Holocaust Memorial in Charleston, has been the “Righteous Gentile” speaker for Yom HaShoa,  and has served on the Leadership Council of the Charleston Accord of Jews, Christians and Muslims.  Dean McKeachie was appointed by Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., to co-ordinate and officiate at  the City of Charleston’s memorial observance following 9/11, 2001.  William has expressed particular thankfulness for  the Cathedral’s sponsorship of annual theological conferences, for his  role in college chaplaincy and in the arts community of Charleston, especially Spoleto Festival events, for the installation of  an octave of  working bells in the Cathedral’s Tower (named for Dean McKeachie in 2005), and for the Cathedral’s  structural restoration in time for the consecration of the Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence as Bishop of South Carolina in 2008.

Dean McKeachie was born in New York City in 1943 and moved with his parents to England when he was nine years old.  Upon his father’s professional retirement, the McKeachies returned to the United States and William attended St. John’s College, Annapolis, and The University of the South, Sewanee, from which he was graduated    in l966. He undertook  theological studies, as well as university teaching,  in Canada, until returning to England where he was ordained priest, pursued  post-graduate work, and served as chaplain-in-residence  at St. John’s College, Oxford.  In 1973 he was appointed to the staff of the Anglican Bishop and Cathedral of Toronto where, as Diocesan Theologian and University Chaplain, he was active in official Anglican-Roman Catholic and Christian-Jewish Dialogue and as Secretary of the Faith and Order Commission of the Canadian Council of Churches.

From 1981-1995 William  was Rector of St. Paul’s Parish, Mother Church of Baltimore, and in 1991 was one of six co-authors of “The Baltimore Declaration” challenging incipient apostasy in the Episcopal Church.  In 1992, Maryland’s 30 colonial parishes celebrated their 300th anniversary for which William  was Tri-Diocesan Chairman.  Throughout his term in Baltimore, he was particularly active in ministry to the St. Paul’s Schools. He was appointed by the Mayor and Governor to a number of boards and committees, including the Maryland Historical Trust, the Lyric Foundation,  and the Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy.  For 10 years he was honorary chaplain to Maryland’s official topsail schooners The Pride of Baltimore and The Pride of
Baltimore II.

In 1982, William was married to Elisabeth Gray of Kentucky who continues to be active as a professional harpist and harp instructor, in which capacity she was an adjunct faculty member of Mary Washington College in Virginia (1986-1996).  The McKeachies have 4 children: Mildred, William, Julia, and James.

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