PRESS RELEASE - FR ANDREW TOPPIN ASSUMES LEADERSHIP OF ST GEORGE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH
“Valley Boy” Returns as 6th Rector of St. George’s Church
Last Sunday, February 19th, 2023, was a “red letter” day at St George’s Anglican Church in the Centerville community known as “the Valley.” A “son” of St. George, the Reverend Andrew Toppin, returned as the 6th Rector of St. George’s Anglican Church. Nominated by Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Reverend Laish Boyd and elected by the parish vestry on Wednesday 23rd 2023, the 59 year old cleric was welcomed to his new cure by parishioners at both the 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM services with a “get to know you” reception held in the church’s parish hall.
In his inaugural sermon, Fr Toppin reflected on his journey to the rectorship of his home parish. “Though my mother’s navel string was buried in St. Matthew’s Parish and my father’s spiritual home was St. Agnes Church, my parents chose to have me baptized at St. George’s Church on August 18th 1963. It was the first rector of this parish, the late Canon Collingwood Cooper who inspired me to become a priest. He gave me the opportunity to serve around the altar, while the second rector, the late Canon N. W. Dudley Strachan helped to nurture my vocation and was then preacher at my ordination to the Diaconate on Tuesday July 25th 1989.”
Father Toppin received his primary and secondary education at Queen’s College, and Saint John’s College respectively. He has a BA from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina and a BA in Theology from the University of the West Indies. After his ordination, he served as Assistant Priest St. Barnabas, NP until May 31st 1993. In June 1993, he served as Priest-in-Charge of All Saints Parish, Mangrove Cat and South Andros. On January 1, 2001, he was appointed Rector of Saint Luke’s Parish, South Eleuthera and served the people of that parish until July 2010. For the following three years, he served as Assistant Priest at Saint George’s, New Providence until his appointment in June 2013 as Priest-in-Charge of Saint James Parish, Adelaide.
In concluding his first Sunday service, attended by family, friends and members of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, in which he serves as Chaplin, Fr. Toppin thanked the members of the vestry for the confidence in approving the Bishop’s nomination. “I am standing on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead and have laid a solid foundation. This legacy continues today and I am building on it. It is an awesome responsibility to the Rector of Saint George and by the grace of God I will not take it lightly. I count it as a joy to serve as your Priest, Pastor, Spiritual guide and friend, May God bless us all as we work together to build of his great Church.”
For additional information contact: Adrian Archer 425-7407