Welcome Randy Shirley
In a search that lasted nearly six months, we welcome Randy Shirley to the staff of St. Michael’s. Randy has been called as an assistant to the rector to serve in a capacity similar to a chief of staff with a special emphasis in the area of stewardship. After interviewing three other candidates, Randy was recommended by Bishop Lawrence because of his vast experience in this kind of a role in the military. After many intense days of interviews that included Randy’s wife Liz, our personnel committee, vestry and staff, we realized that this was a great fit. Yet Randy just graduated from Trinity School for Ministry. So, while Randy is new to the ordained ministry, he comes with great experience for what is our highest need. Randy will be ordained a deacon at the Church of the Holy Cross on June 10, and then ordained a priest at a later date. He will start at St. Michael’s on Monday, June 12. Welcome Randy, Liz and their children! Please read Randy’s biography below.
Randy Shirley has answered God’s call to join St. Michael’s. A recent graduate from Trinity School of Ministry near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Randy was previously a member of Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island since retiring from the United States Army as a lieutenant colonel and returning to the Charleston area in 2004. While at Holy Cross, Randy taught the adult Sunday school class until leaving to attend seminary. In addition to his military career, Randy has worked as a senior engineering consultant for the Science Application International Corporation in Northern Virginia, and as a government civilian (GS15). As a government civilian, he was a program manager for the Defense Information Systems Agency, and for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center here in Charleston.
Randy was born in Portland, Maine, to a military family. His father, a Citadel graduate, and his mother, a local Charlestonian, were faithful parents who reared him and his two sisters in the Baptist tradition. Randy followed in his father’s footsteps to attend The Citadel, and to make the Army a career. A Citadel graduate of ’82, Randy became a participant in God’s work with the Officers’ Christian Fellowship program. In 1991, he assisted in opening the first chapter of OCF at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Selected by the Army to attend graduate schooling, Randy received a master of science degree from Clemson University.
In addition to overseas assignments in Fulda, Germany, and Somalia, East Africa, Randy has directly supported on-location mission activities with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Central and South America. He has served in Infantry, Air Defense Artillery, and Joint Operation units. Randy is a combat veteran whose fondest memories and greatest joys have come from leading Bible studies with uniformed members from the United Nations and other federal government agencies while deployed.
Randy met his wife, Liz, while serving in the Washington, D.C. area. Liz is also from the Charleston area and is a graduate of the College of Charleston. They will celebrate 21 years of marriage this coming December. They have a son, 19, who is a rising sophomore at the College of Charleston, and a daughter, 16, who is a rising junior at Wando. The Shirley family includes their dog, Lulu. They live on Isle of Palms, and the family enjoys their time together walking, biking, and watching movies. Randy and Liz also enjoy watching Saturday Night Live together, and surfing the Internet for classic ‘80s music videos.
Randy found a deepening of his faith formation in the Anglican church. During a men’s hike in 2005, he began to discern God’s call into ordained ministry. Although Randy loves to teach the Bible, he and Liz are drawn to liturgical worship, healing ministries and passionately witnessing the gospel. Randy enjoys home projects, especially if they require a tool belt, and tinkering on older cars. Coming to Saint Michael’s is a blessing for Randy and his family, and they are looking forward to a long and loving relationship with their new parish family. He sends a big “thank you” to the congregation for your welcoming embrace and kindness.