Rev. Deanie StrengthParish Associate
Deanie Strength was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament when she accepted a call to serve St. Simons Presbyterian Church as Associate Pastor in 1999. She served in that position for seven years and then supported that congregation for nine years through service as a volunteer and mother. Deanie and her husband Joey made the decision to move to Savannah in 2015 when Joey accepted a position with the Hunter MacLean Law Firm where he now practices real estate law. Their children, James (13) and Nell (10),
are students at Savannah Country Day School.
Deanie was educated at the University of Alabama (B.A.) and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (M.Div.) in Texas. She was raised in the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, worshiped with First Presbyterian Church, Georgetown, Texas while in seminary and fulfilled her seminary internship at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Laura Mendenhall, later president of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She also worked on the neonatal and gynecological floors as a summer chaplain at Scott and White Hospital in Texas.
A favorite verse of Deanie’s is Luke 11:9 – “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” She thinks of herself as a seeker, eager to seek the Lord where He may be found. She has been practicing contemplative prayer and 12 step spirituality to deepen her relationship with God and others and to better discern the path the Holy Spirit is leading her along. During the course of her ministry, doors have opened to support men and women spiritually along the journey of life; to labor alongside
brothers and sisters in faith in Jamaica, Malawi, and Brazil; to encourage mentally and financially challenged residents of downtown Brunswick and Savannah through community ministries; and to nurture the faith of presbytery children as a camp director, Sunday School teacher and youth leader. Prayers have been answered for opportunities to serve and glorify God through her words, music, and simple acts of kindness. Most recently she has been singing in the choir and providing contemplative piano music at First Presbyterian Church, Savannah where her husband and children are members.
She is energized by the opportunity to assist pastors in the presbytery who are offering their gits to strengthen churches. She looks forward to assisting Rev. Garrison in his service to Skidaway Island Presbyterian Church and supporting the congregation in its efforts to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory be to God!
Dr. Mary McKeeDirector of Music, Organist
Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mary began her music career at the age of 9, debuting with the Utah Symphony. She went on to earn Bachelors, Masters, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School Of Music in New York. She also holds a Licentiate Diploma in Teaching and a Diploma in Advanced Studies from The Royal Academy of Music in London, England.
Her profession experience includes Director of Music/Organist, Music Instructor, and co-founder of The Amelia Arts Academy in Fernandina Beach, Florida. She also served as a Choir Trainer in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida along with Children’s Choir Director and Accompanist for public schools in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Awards include Fulbright scholar, Royal Academy of Music in London, The Julliard School Concerto Competition, Chopin Young Pianists’ National Competition, Music Teachers National Association-Baldwin Competition, and National Arts Club Competition. She has performed solo concerts in USA, Japan, Czech Republic, Poland, England, and Spain.
Mary is married to Dr. Timothy McKee, Director of Music/Organist, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and has a son, Spencer, which is also a gifted musician. Her interests include enjoying homeschooling Spencer and becoming familiar with Savannah.