Holy Trinity honors longtime rector

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 28, 2002

The Rev. Clifton J. McInnis Jr. stands outside The Church of the Holy Trinity.(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[01/28/02]The Rev. Clifton McInnis Jr., was named the first rector emeritus in the 130-year history of The Church of the Holy Trinity Sunday for his two decades of service to the congregation.

McInnis was rector of the church from 1969 until his retirement in 1992. The vestry, the governing body of the church, honored him with the distinction reserved for retired clergy.

About 200 members of the church, including McInnis’ family, were present for the ceremony.

“I’ve looked real forward and very much to this occasion,” McInnis said. “And I am deeply honored.”

The church at Monroe and South streets since 1869 has had 15 rectors, but none had received the title of rector emeritus.

“He is very special to our church,” said Carol Horn, a member of the vestry. And “he means so much to the people of Vicksburg.”

McInnis is a native of Clarksdale, but after his retirement, McInnis and his wife, Percy, and three of their five children remained in Vicksburg. They have continued to be active members of the church.

“This became home,” McInnis said.

Mrs. McInnis, their children and grandchildren, except for a son who is serving as a priest in the Navy, were on hand Sunday for the ceremony and reception.

“His wife and his family are what make him able to share his love with the congregation,” said Pat Cole, who was McInnis’ secretary for 13 years. “He’s a very humble, caring and loving person, and he’s a good shepherd.”

Cole said that McInnis brings joy to people wherever he goes and always listens to their problems, or as he likes to call them, opportunities.

The Rev. Michael Nations, rector of Holy Trinity since June, said McInnis is also rector emeritus of the Episcopal Church of Woodville where he served as rector before coming to Vicksburg.

“Strictly speaking, Clifton did this for himself,” Nations said. He was given this title “because of all the work he did for the church.”

Along with the title, the church parish house was named in McInnis’ honor and a plaque placed on the outside. There are no specific responsibilities or duties that come with the title.

“It is a great honor for me to get this title,” McInnis said. “And to serve here with this congregation.”