Jun 19 2013
The Rev. Dr. Alfred Tisdale comes to Calvary from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale where he is in his fourth year as “Associate Dean / Director of Anglican Studies & Formation.” Having completed many years of successful parish ministry, his teaching has focused on parish leadership and practical ministry skills. He also supervises seven worship services each week for the students, and is called upon as both a mentor and pastor to the seminarians. Alfred’s wife, The Rev. Dr. Nora Tubbs Tisdale, is a Presbyterian minister who serves as Professor of Preaching at Yale Divinity School. They have enjoyed working together at the seminary, but Alfred’s heart has always been in the Parish, and he has been longing to return to serving a local congregation.
Before his ordination as an Episcopal Priest, Alfred was for many years a Presbyterian Pastor—yet, his love of the Episcopal Tradition goes far back. When Alfred & Nora first graduated from seminary, they were assigned to an ecumenical cluster of churches in the Diocese of Virginia where Alfred served for five years as Vicar of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Louisa.
His next parish in Richmond, VA was a relatively new congregation in a growing suburb with many young families. During his nine years as pastor, the membership and giving more than tripled as Alfred led the expansion of programs, mission, and staff—so much so that they built a beautiful new church with a fine pipe organ and expanded educational wing.
In the early 90’s, Nora took a position on the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary and Alfred became Sr. Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in the nearby charming colonial village of Cranbury. There he led the congregation to call a second Assoc. Pastor which resulted in significant growth in the Christian formation programs and outreach of the church. Throughout this time, however, the call of Canterbury remained strong. So, in the late 90’s, he took time off to return to The General Theological Seminary in NYC for a graduate degree in Christian Spirituality & Spiritual Direction.
In 2000, Alfred took over the reigns of the historic (c. 1717) Presbyterian Church on the Green in Basking Ridge, NJ. This 1600-member parish was known for its magnificent sacred music programs and excellent youth ministries. Still, it was Alfred’s study in Oxford during the summer of 2005 that finally convinced him that the time had come to formally make the change. He followed his love for Episcopal liturgy and the Anglican Tradition on a journey that culminated with his ordination as Priest in the Diocese of CT. Today, he also serves part-time on the staff of Christ Church (Episcopal) in New Haven. With extensive parish experience, a pastor’s heart, and a love for the Episcopal Church, he comes to be our next Rector.
Both Alfred & Nora were born in the Carolinas. Alfred studied Physics and Religion at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. The couple met in that city while serving as Youth Directors at a large local church! His basic theological studies and Doctor of Ministry degree are from Union Seminary in VA. Alfred & Nora also taught together for a year at a Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea.
The Tisdales have two children. Their daughter, Leonora, spent several years after college traveling the world studying organic and sustainable agriculture and then taught environmental education to fifth graders in post-Katrina New Orleans. Today, she lives in a farmhouse on the campus (the forest) of Duke University. She is doing studies toward a nursing degree. Their son William recently moved with his family to Boston where he is doing post-doctoral research in an alternative energies lab at M.I.T. while wife Alison is a researcher working for a start-up bio-tech firm. Their daughter, 1½ year-old “Maddie,” is the Tisdale’s first grandchild and the apple of their eye—family is central for them!
Alfred & Nora enjoy traveling together. He is adept at losing golf balls, enjoys gardening, and loves to sail. They look forward to making many new friends in Calvary and the greater Stonington area.
Please click on the link below to view a photo and download his Bio;