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Mar 08, 2017

Chanceys: 48 Years of Faith in Jacksonville

Sheri and Wilbur Chancey have worshipped at Trinity, Jacksonville for 48 years. Their spiritual journey together began when they married in October 1962. Wilbur was Catholic and Sheri was Methodist and as the young couple struggled to find common ground, the Episcopal Church turned out to be a happy discovery for them. They were confirmed at Trinity by the Rt. Rev. Milton Richardson, then Bishop of Texas, in October 1968.

At Christmas that year, Sheri first played the organ at Trinity, the beginning of her lifelong career as organist at the church she grew to love. She was born in Farmington, Missouri, the youngest of six children. Her parents ran the weekly newspaper, the Farmington News, which had been in the family for generations. She graduated from Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois, with a major in sacred music and a minor in Christian education. She studied organ for 10 years, making organ her applied major.

Sheri was in Jasper, Texas, working as an education and choir director when she and Wilbur met and fell in love. They were married by the Rev. Jack Allbright, who even today, with his wife Dana, still attends worship at at Trinity. Wilbur and Sheri’s first home was in Jacksonville where their two sons, Todd and Greg, were born.

Wilbur was head of the laboratory at Stripling Clinic, where he worked for 17 years before opening a home health care agency and serving as administrator for 10 years. His next career move was to Thompson Funeral Home, then Autry Funeral Home where his gifts of compassion, understanding, support and service were put to good use.

February 2007 was a busy time at Trinity for Sheri, who served as Bishop’s Warden and helped to plan the church’s centenary with vicar, the Rev. Rob Godwin, and the rest of the Bishop’s Committee.

Sheri spent much of her time trying to contact past members and clergy who had served at Trinity, planned meals and refreshments, made sure the church had enough plates, obtained a giant tent from Trinity Mother Francis Hospital, keept the congregation informed, wrote and printed invitations. She was the driving force behind the very successful Centenary celebrations at Trinity.

Additionally, Sheri administered the Memorial Fund for many years. Wilbur is a licensed Lay Reader and Eucharistic chalice bearer, and he too has served on the Bishop’s Committee. Sheri and Wilbur have both been to the Diocesan Annual Council multiple times as elected representatives of Trinity.

Wilbur says that Trinity is a place where his personal religious convictions are lived out. He loves the liturgy and the corporate but very private nature of worship. Recently, the church’s Altar Guild presented special altar cloths to the church in honor of Sheri and Wilbur for their many years of service to Trinity and its parishioners.

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