Church of the Holy Spirit welcomes interim rector

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Alabaster will welcome its new interim rector the Rev. Bill Blackerby on Jan. 8.

A special service will be held for Blackerby, 64, of Forest Park in Birmingham, with a chili cook-off after the morning service at 10:30 a.m.

There is also an 8:30 a.m. service each Sunday.

While the church seeks to locate a full-time rector, Blackerby will serve as the interim priest, after former rector Mary Bea Sullivan relocated to a church in Birmingham.

This is Blackerby’s third interim position, and he said he wants his time at the church to be spent getting to know the community.

“I don’t want my time as the interim rector to be marking time until the next person comes along,” Blackerby said. “I don’t know how long I will be there, but I want the time I am there to be filled with opportunities to meet new people, and help grow the church in terms of numbers and help individuals to deepen their lives spiritually.”

Most recently, Blackerby served as interim rector of St. Catherine’s in Chelsea, and has served as interim rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Cullman.

Blackerby also served as an Episcopal campus chaplain in Birmingham from 1993 to 2014 and Curate at St. Mary’s in Birmingham from 1988 to 1993.

Blackerby’s involvement in the Diocese of Alabama over the past 30 years has included the department of ministry of higher education, standing committee, Sawyerville Day Camp, Camp McDowell summer session director, Vocare spiritual director, Cursillo spiritual director and Diocesan Council.

Blackerby is an adjunct instructor in the Harrison Honors Program at Birmingham-Southern College and the University Honors Program at UAB.

Blackerby graduated from Birmingham-Southern College, UAB, and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.

Blackerby is married to Anne Thiele Blackerby, and has two children.

“I like to go into a place and figure out what they like would to accomplish during the time I am there,” Blackerby said. “It gives me a sense of what is important to them, and it also gives me a sense of what is going on at the church. I would also like to get to know the community and figure out ways to support things that are going on there. I hope while I am there the parish will be busy, vital and active.”

The church is located at 858 Kent Dairy Road off Highway 26 in Alabaster. For more information, call 621-3418 or visit