Tim Mcquitty proud of being

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2000

the son of a preacher man


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Jan, 27, 2000 9 PM

Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, said he had been called a lot of things but he was proudest of being called the son of a preacher man.

The Rev. Tom McQuitty, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, is equally proud to be the son of a minister.

McQuitty’s father is Irish by birth and immigrated to the United States from northern Ireland in 1948.

"My dad’s whole family came over on the Queen Mary," McQuitty said. "Six months later his family went home but he stayed in South Carolina. He came to know the Lord and was called to preach."

McQuitty’s father was ordained into the ministry in 1961, the year he was born.

"Being a pastor’s kid, I never lived in one place more than six years," McQuitty said. "But we stayed in the South and much of that time in Alabama. From 1962 to 1972, our time was spent between Eufaula and Greenville."

McQuitty said his call to the ministry was one of growth rather than a Damascus Road experience.

"My dad would always tell me, with tongue in cheek, that he wanted me to be a minister like him and my response would be ‘Yeah, right.’ He didn’t push me into the ministry but he did let me know his desire."

When McQuitty was a student at Covenant College, he put off deciding on a major as long as possible. The time finally came when he had to give serious thought to a major field of study. He realized that the classes in which he did the best were biblical subjects so that was the direction he took.

Classwork led to involvement with youth ministries and McQuitty began to feel the tug toward the official ministry of the church.

"I was feeling the call to be a pastor but I wasn’t completely sure," he said. "My older brother told me to put the calling to the test. He suggested that I take some time off and pay some bills and see if the desire was really there. I did that between 1983 and ’86 and I grew more passionate about the ministry."

McQuitty entered Reform Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss. and he set the course for his life’s work.

While doing a pastoral internship at First Presbyterian in Troy, he met Dana Ellis, a native Trojan who was a junior at Troy State University. The couple married and, in June, 1988, McQuitty took his bride back to seminary with him. He graduated with a master’s of divinity and a master’s in marriage and family therapy.

Since that time, he has held three positions. He served churches in Baltimore and Centreville from 1991- 97. He was associate pastor of youth ministries at Eastwood Presbyterian in Montgomery for two years before coming "home" to Troy in December ’99.

"In the Presbyterian Church, a minister is free to submit his resignation and seek the pulpit of another church when he feels he has fulfilled his purpose at a church," McQuitty said. "We knew the pulpit was vacant here in Troy and they were looking for a senior pastor. Coming to Troy would be like coming home, especially for Dana."

McQuitty, too, would feel at home at First Presbyterian Church of Troy. After all, he has been associated with the people of the church for 13 years. They are his extended church family.

"I knew them and they knew me, so it would be a comfortable fit," McQuitty said.

Now, it is a comfortable fit.

McQuitty and his family have dropped anchor at First Presbyterian and they hope the Troy harbor is home for a long time.

"My record of longevity at a church so far is three years," he said. "I don’t know if I get the three-year itch or what, but I don’t think it will happen here," he said. "I’m looking for stability and permanence for my family and in my professional growth. I believe we have found that at First Presbyterian and in Troy."