The Rev. Canon Tony Ferguson, Rector

Father Tony Ferguson President & Immediate Past Chairman

Father Tony Ferguson
President & Immediate Past Chairman

Father Tony has served as the president of Community Health Outreach and Rector of St. Peter’s Church since 1993.

Anthony David Norman Ferguson was born in London, England in 1951.  He was born in Lambeth which is in London’s East End and that makes him, technically at least, a Cockney.  But you’ll never hear it because shortly thereafter his family moved to the south coast of England.  When he was a young boy, he thought his vocation was to be a doctor.  But God had other plans.  Father Tony’s mother died when he was 14, and he became a Christian at age 15.  He continued on at school until he was 18 and ready for college.  At that time his father told him there would be no financial support for further schooling (or, anything else!).  In England, you can’t work and go to university part-time as so many of us do here.  So to earn a living, he began working in veterinary research with the government and later at an Anglican mission in central London.  This led to his going into seminary, studying at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  He obtained his degree with the aid of a government grant.  While at Oxford he started a mission there.  The English system provides for a selection committee (slightly different from ours) which has to approve church vocations.  The amazing thing was that Father Tony was approved, despite his being evangelical since evangelicals in England almost never get selected.  I say “amazing,” but what should we expect?  After all, God had called him to be a priest.

In 1978, Father Tony was ordained a Deacon in the Anglican Church and sent to the Birmingham area in the midlands, where he served both St. Matthew’s and St. Paul’s churches until he was ordained a priest in July 1979.

July 4, 1979 was the date he came to the U.S. to work for the South American Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church (SAMS).  They had been given an old orphanage building about 40 miles outside of Asheville, NC, where they were to accept and train missionaries to send to South America.  Funding for SAMS was short in 1980, and Father Tony accepted the position of Rector of St. John’s Church, which was about 10 miles up the road in Marion, NC, where he stayed until October 1984.

Father Tony was called in 1984 to form a new church in Charlotte, NC.  His congregation at first totaled about 35 and met in a Lutheran church at 1:00 p.m. after the Lutheran services, with Sunday School starting at 12:00 p.m.  These few formed the nucleus of St. Margaret’s Church, and they began receiving contributions and then property, allowing them to build their own facility.  The first service in their new building was on Maundy Thursday in 1988, followed by Easter Sunday.  St. Margaret’s grew to 400+ parishioners before Father Tony left in 1993.

While in western North Carolina, Father Tony met Normie Deering, and they were married in Charlotte in 1985.  In 1993, they were called to St. Peter’s and have been receiving the blessing of that ever since.  Father Tony has become a U.S. Citizen while here in Jacksonville.