A new chapter begins

A new chapter begins

It is with great pleasure we introduce our new chaplain, Reverend Anne Fuquay!

"I am inspired by Cunningham’s history and legacy and even more by Cunningham’s commitment to continually evolve to meet new needs and challenges and to look for fresh opportunities to provide hope," Chaplain Anne said.

Chaplain Anne is an elder in the United Methodist Church and most recently served as Co-Pastor at Ocala First UMC in Ocala, Florida. She is a Massachusetts native and completed her Master of Divinity at the Boston University School of Theology. In addition to the Florida Conference, she also served at churches in the Mississippi Conference and New England Conference.

Although new to Cunningham, serving as a chaplain is something familiar to her. Anne held the role of chaplain at Millsaps College during her time in Mississippi.

"For me, chaplaincy is a ministry of authentic presence," Chaplain Anne said. "It’s all about joining, championing, and supporting real presence to self, to others and the Divine in diverse ways and along many paths."

Joining her in service to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference is her husband, Reverend David Fuquay, who has been appointed as the Senior Pastor at Urbana Wesley UMC and Director of the Wesley Foundation. Their son, Michael, will be a freshman at Illinois Wesleyan University this fall.

Anne replaces Reverend Gay King Crede, who retired this summer after 19 wonderful years of dedicated service to Cunningham youth and staff, and becomes the 9th chaplain in Cunningham's rich tradition of providing spiritual services.

It was in the 1970’s that Cunningham first added a chaplain to its staff. The bishop of the Central Illinois Conference appointed Reverend Bert Lancaster to serve as a part-time chaplain. During his service from 1973 to 1980, duties not only included building healthy relationships with the youth and staff, but also interpreting the role of Cunningham to church and civic organizations.

In 1981, Reverend Mike Eischen was appointed the part-time chaplain. In 1983, the Synod recognized the importance of the spiritual needs at Cunningham and Reverend Eischen was appointed as a full-time chaplain. He served in this role until 1993. Following Chaplain Eischen were Reverend Mike Jones (1993-1995) and Reverend Melva England (1995-2000).

In 1996, during Chaplain Melva's tenure, the Central Illinois Conference and Southern Illinois Conference merged to form the Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC). Reverend Elaine McCoy (2001-2003) and Reverend John Sims (interim 2003-2004) followed until Chaplain Gay was appointed to the position in 2004.