By Taylor Kilpatrick, Assistant Director of Paul’s Place Afterschool Program
My dad, Tim Kilpatrick, loves St. Paul’s. So much so that he actually left Bethesda Hospital the Sunday morning I was born to make it in time for the 9:30am service. If that doesn’t tell you his priorities I don’t know what will! He said to The Reverend Bernie Pecaro, the Curate of St. Paul’s at that time who congratulated Tim at the communion rail upon seeing his hospital bracelet, “I just had to thank God for the blessing of a healthy baby girl and for my beautiful wife.” This is a good way to illustrate my dad because as you can see he is an incredibly devoted family man and a deeply devout Christian. I am honored to be able to share with you a little bit about how Tim got to St. Paul’s, and how St. Paul’s got to him.
My mother and father, Tim and Caren, have been paired up practically since birth. They grew up on the same street in the Lake Ida neighborhood in Delray Beach, went to the same church, and knew all the same people. They began dating when they were 15 years old at a church youth group event. My mom told her best friend afterwards that she would marry that Tim Kilpatrick…and she did, 7 years later!
Both of my parents were raised Southern Baptist and once they were married at Lakeview Baptist Church, Delray Beach in 1984, they made a change to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. They had attended an Episcopal Church during their time in college at Stetson University and attended Episcopal Schools so they felt more comfortable in the Episcopal tradition (suffice it to say, their families were not thrilled). They recall being so warmly welcomed by Stacy Hannah (later Stacy Clawson) and knew very soon that St. Paul’s would be the place for them. Tim and Caren jumped right into the parish life and were quickly asked by Rev. Donald Clawson to work with the youth group, the Episcopal Young Churchman (EYC). They worked with the youth group for 4 years until just after their first child, Trent, was born in 1987. He talks about their time leading the youth group so fondly. How they would have up to 30 kids and everyone would bring friends and they would go camping or bowling or over to their apartment for pizza.
My dad loves to learn and that is one of his favorite things about St. Paul’s; that it has given him so many opportunities to expand his knowledge of Christianity and deepen his faith through study, which he considers a form of worship. He has taken part and served as Mentor in an Education for Ministry (EFM) group, attended Cursillo, taken Bible Study courses, and led Sunday School and Youth Group.
In 2011, our family sold the family business. Tim thought that teaching and coaching young people was a good change of pace, and used his love of learning and religion to guide him into his new role as World Religions teacher at Saint Andrews School. There, he would be able to share his passions with children and draw from all his experience leading religious study at St. Paul’s. My dad is now the Dean of Students at Saint Andrew’s Middle School in Boca Raton.
St. Paul’s has brought so many wonderful things into my dad’s life. It has been a sacred place of worship, he has made lifelong friends whom he loves, provided many opportunities for lay leadership, and ultimately it has given him a place to raise his family and to deepen his relationship with Christ. And if you know Tim he’ll tell you that he is a simple man… he loves his family and he loves God.
St. Paul’s has had a great impact on my father’s life, and in turn had a profound impact on my life. Here at St. Paul’s, I learned about the importance of serving God and His children. I have followed that in my professional life, earning degrees in Social Work and going on to work at Paul’s Place, a ministry of St. Paul’s. But that is for another Story…