Rev. Beverley Conner McEachern
The Rev. Beverley Conner McEachern, 65, of Hamilton, Ga., died Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at her home. A Requiem Eucharist will begin at 10:30 a.m. EDT today, June 2, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ga., followed by a brief Celebration of Life service at 1 p.m. EDT at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Hamilton, Ga. A reception will follow interment at St. Nicholas. Striffler-Hamby Mortuary (706-563-2372), Columbus, Ga., is handling arrangements. Memorials may be made to St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, 69 Mobley Road, Hamilton, GA 31811, or Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministries, 1807 17th Street, Columbus, GA 31901. The Rev. McEachern was born July 12, 1941, in Topeka, Kan., the daughter of the late Melvin A. Conner and the late Rosalie Burgardt Conner. She had lived in the Columbus area for the past twenty-eight years. Beverley began her public education in Tallahassee and graduated from Leon High School in 1959. She entered Florida State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While as FSU she was in the University Chorus, the University Choir, a student house leader at Jenny Murphy Hall and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and other student groups and activities. She enjoyed making the Dean's List frequently and graduated in less than four years in 1962. In July 1963, she married John McEachern at historic St. John's Parish in Tallahassee. Beverley has always been active in church and women's groups. She began a process of becoming a Pastoral Counselor by entering Emory University. Under the leadership and mentoring of Bishop Bennett Sims, she moved to Emory's Candler School of Theology. This was prior to any ordination of women in the Episcopal Church. While in seminary, she completed her compulsory requirement as Chaplain at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and her field parish work at St. John's Episcopal Church in Oxen Hill, Maryland. The Rev. McEachern received her Master of Divinity in 1979 from Virginia Theological Seminary and passed her General Ordination Examinations in the spring of 1979. She began her Deaconate year at St. Thomas Church in Columbus in July 1979. In June 1980, she was ordained Priest and became one of the first authorized ordained women Priests in the church. She served St. Thomas as an Assistant Priest for several years. While in Columbus she participated in numerous boards and activities, both civic and in the Diocese of Atlanta. For some time she was an active Priest in the Cursillo movement in the Diocese. She served for one year as Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of her fraternity at Auburn University. In the late 1980s she began a full-time career at the Pastoral Institute and the Bradley Center, where she completed her training to become a Pastoral Counselor, first as a member and later she became a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Beverley began a long tenure, ministry and pastoral counseling role at Trinity Church. This pastoral care ministry became a very important part of Beverley's life. In the late 1990s, talk began about planning a parish in Harris County. With the approval of the Right Rev. Frank Allen, Bishop of Atlanta, she began a part-time role of congregational development in Hamilton and Harris County. This led her to the leadership of Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church. In 2001, she moved with her husband to Hamilton, where she made her home. Survivors include her husband, John McEachern Sr.; one daughter, Conner McEachern; one son and daughter-in-law, John and Debbie McEachern Jr.; four grandchildren, Jack, Anne Marie, Lilly and Henry; one brother and sister-in-law, Stephen A. and Nan Conner of Panama City Beach, Fla.; and one nephew, Matthew Conner.
Published in the Tallahassee Democrat on 6/2/2007.