Rector: The Reverend Dr. James Fraser Lyon IV
The Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, on July 14, 1956. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Winthrop University, a master of divinity degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina.
Father Lyon was ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood by the Right Reverend William A. Beckham, bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. He served as priest assistant at Saint Martin's in the Fields Episcopal Church, Columbia, as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, York, and since 1991, as rector of Church of the Good Shepherd, Columbia.
Father Lyon has exercised ministry in the diocese and community in the following capacities: chair of the National Mission Committee ,1984-1999; Appalachian Mission work trip site director, 1984-present; Diocesan Standing Committee, 1990-1993; Episcopal Nominating & Election Committee, 1993-1994; Diocesan Committee on Aging, 2002-2006; Board of Directors of Home Works of America, 1999-2007; Board of Visitors of Home Works of America, 2007-2010; Diocesan Executive Council, 2004-2007; Commission on Congregations, 2004-2007; Episcopal Search Committee, 2009-2010; and bishop's representative to the Board of Trustees of Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community, 2011-present.
Devotional and religious formation societies have a valued place in Father Lyon's spiritual life. He is a member of the Society of Mary, the Society of the Holy Cross, the Anglican Priests Eucharistic League and the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew.
He has been married since 1980 to the former Sallie Powers Leslie of Bennettsville, S.C., and they have two adult children.
In Celebration of Father Lyon's ministry
During the course of our 130-year history, The Church of the Good Shepherd has been blessed with a number of long-serving rectors, notably the Reverend Mr. Lewis Nathaniel Taylor, of blessed memory, who served the parish faithfully for more than 22 years, from March 1, 1925, until his death on December 2, 1947. He was a blessing to Good Shepherd and to the greater Columbia community, and his status as our longest-serving rector endured for more than six decades.
But a change was set in motion on July 1, 1991, when our parish called the Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV to become our 13th rector, and on April 4 of this year, Father Lyon became our longest-serving rector. During these nearly 23 years, Father Lyon, like the Rev. Mr. Taylor, has faithfully served God and our parish, and has become beloved not only by our parish, but by the broader Columbia community.
It is a resounding testament to Father Lyon that for more than two decades he has been able to faithfully serve as the parish's own good shepherd, the icon of Christ to all parishioners, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, young or old, in such turbulent and polarizing times for the church and for society at large.
In honor and celebration of the service that Father Lyon and Sallie have given and continue to give to our parish, The Church of the Good Shepherd held a Thanksgiving Eucharist on the evening of Friday, May 14, with the Right Reverend Charles Duvall as celebrant and homilist.
During a reception following the Mass, Senior Warden Robert Clawson presented Father Lyon with framed copies of S.1134, a Concurrent Resolution introduced by S.C. Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson and adopted this spring by the South Carolina General Assembly, honoring Father Lyon's service. You can read the resolution here.
The celebration coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of Father Lyon's ordination to the priesthood, and we all join Bishop Duvall in looking forward to coming together again to celebrate Father Lyon's thirty-fifth anniversary.
Parish Musician: Dr. David Lowry
The Parish Musician at Good Shepherd is Dr. David M. Lowry, HonRSCM. Dr. Lowry came to The Church of the Good Shepherd in 1996. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, where he was the principal organ professor from 1965 to 2012. Dr. Lowry plays the organ and directs the Parish Choir for the principal masses on Sundays, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, and Holy Week.
His previous experience includes positions at St. Mark’s Episcopal, Cleveland OH; Christ Church, West Englewood NJ; Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York NY; Providence United Methodist, Charlotte NC; First Presbyterian, Belmont NC; and the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Rock Hill SC. Additionally, he was the founder and artistic director of the York County Choral Society from 1980 to 2011.
As a concert organist, he has played nearly 200 recitals in the United States, England, Austria, and Switzerland. He also can be heard on a major recording on the ProOrgano label with Michael Miller, playing trumpet. As a composer he has works published by ECS, Paraclete, Selah, and the American Guild of Organists.
He is a past president of the Association of Anglican Musicians and a past dean of the Charlotte Chapter, AGO. He served on the board of the Royal School of Church Music in America for 21 years, for which he was presented the award, HonRSCM in 2001 in St. Asaph Cathedral, Wales. For the last decade he has been a frequent reviewer of classical music concerts in Columbia for the Free Times.
He holds academic degrees from Baldwin-Wallace University, Union Theological Seminary of New York, and the University of North Texas. His teachers include Henry Lofquist, Warren Berryman, Charlotte Garden, Donald McDonald, Anton Heiller, Cor Kee, and Donald Willing.
Many of his students have gained significant positions in churches, the concert field, public education and higher education.
Christian Education: Melanie McGehee
Church Secretary: Betty Prudence