Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
ALL are WELCOME at St. Andrew's!
ALL are WELCOME at St. Andrew's!
Join us for the Celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord every Sunday!
Come Join Us Every Sunday at 10:30
God has brought us a new
The Reverend Reid Hamilton
came to lead us as we continue
God's work in Hartwell and the surrounding communities!
Welcome to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church located in Hartwell, Georgia...
"The Best Little Town By A Dam Site," as coined by our former parishioner and
beloved Mayor, Joan Saliba.
Does that make us the "best Episcopal Church by a dam site?"
You're darn right it does!
But, we'd also like to be known as the friendliest and most welcoming church
around Lake Hartwell.
We truly are a family, and we have plenty of room for more family members!
We'd love to have you come by, check us out, and see for yourself.
We worship in-person and via Facebook livestream. So, choose which suits you best.
At St. Andrew's,
we strive to live and share the
Gospel through love,
service and worship!
St. Andrew's is a vibrant and healthy parish.
We are located in the picturesque lake community of Hartwell, Georgia.
Hartwell, is continually growing with vibrant locally owned businesses and industry,
lake-centric recreational activities, and constant community involvement;
all while maintaining that desired small-town allure.
Hartwell and the surrounding counties (Hart, Franklin, Madison, and Stephens),
have great school systems and local culture.
Our parishioners live in several nearby counties,
and make the easy commute to church every Sunday morning.
Hartwell is the perfect place to raise a family or enjoy life as an empty nester.
We are VERY excited to begin a new chapter in our parish life
with our Priest-in-charge, Reid Hamilton and his wife, Deb Garner.
They live in Hartwell, and serve St. Andrew's and St. Alban's in Elberton.
What a long, strange trip it’s been for new priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Reid Hamilton.
Hamilton, the new priest in charge at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Hartwell, has jumped out of airplanes as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, practiced corporate law in Atlanta, lived in Portugal while serving with the Church of England, and coauthored a book on Jazz Liturgy.
Reid and his wife, Deb Garner, moved to Hartwell last September in response to a call from St. Andrew’s Church and St. Alban’s Church in Elberton to serve both congregations. Reid was ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in 1998 after graduating from seminary at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Prior to that he had been practicing law in Atlanta since 1985. “Looking back on my journey, I can see that I was always going to be a priest - but it took me a while to get there,” he said.
Born in Joplin, MO, and raised in the Episcopal Church, Reid has always been interested in music and theater. “I cut my teeth on a stage brace at Joplin Little Theatre,” he said, “and sang in the junior choir at St. Philip’s Church in Joplin from as early as I can remember.” Reid studied piano, violin, and voice for years as a young person, and spent a lot of time sailing with his family on Grand Lake in nearby Oklahoma. “All of these interests have, in a roundabout way, brought me here to Hartwell,” he said. Reid received his bachelor’s degree in English from Westminster College in Fulton, MO, where Winston Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech — “Not when I was there!” Reid exclaimed, grinning.
Attending college on a four-year Army ROTC scholarship deflected him from pursuing music, theater or religion professionally. “Military service was a tradition in my family,” Reid said. He took a delay from active duty to attend law school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he learned to love bluegrass music. After law school he served as lawyer and paratrooper with the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. “I enjoyed jumping then, and I’m glad I don’t have to do it now,” he said. After four years with the 82nd, Reid moved to Atlanta to practice law with Kilpatrick & Cody (now Kilpatrick Stockton), where he met Deb. They married in 1987. “She was raised in an evangelical tradition,” Reid says, “and she began to push my ‘religion buttons.’” In 1995, after 14 years of law practice (“and a lot of prayer and discernment”), Reid enrolled in seminary at Candler.
Ordained in 1998, he has served as assistant rector of St. Paul’s Church in Kansas City; as rector of Christ Church in Kent, Ohio; and from 2003 until 2018, as the chaplain of Canterbury House, the Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Canterbury House was a great gig,” Reid said. “They have a long tradition of music and campus activism. Neil Young played there back in the day, along with Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Richie Havens, and many others. “When I was there, much more recently, our worship service was a jazz mass with really talented student and faculty musicians from the jazz department,” he said. Together with C-House Music Director Stephen Rush, Reid wrote “Better Get It In Your Soul: What Liturgists Can Learn from Jazz,” published in 2008. From 2018 until coming to St. Andrew’s, Reid served as the chaplain of St. Vincent’s, a Church of England parish in the Algarve of Portugal.
"Deb has been working for some years as a social worker with military families both here and abroad,” Reid said. “And she was spending a lot of time on assignments in Europe. We decided it might be good to live on the same continent together for a while.” While working near the Great Lakes, and living on the coast in Portugal, Reid re-discovered his love of sailing. Family obligations and a fondness for azaleas have brought Reid and Deb back to the United States and to the Diocese of Atlanta. “I hope I can find a sailboat sooner rather than later,” Reid said. “Who knows? I might even get back into theater” Reid is excited for the potential of his two churches here in Georgia. “St. Andrew’s and St. Alban’s are both wonderful congregations, with very loving and faithful members. So many of our folks are deeply involved with community, and they do great service with Christ as their model. Northeast Georgia is growing, and the people here have many needs, both spiritual and material. COVID has been a challenge for everyone, but we can all see God’s hand at work in our lives. I’m glad to be a part of what the Church is doing here,” he said. Reid leads services every Sunday morning, at 8:30 at St. Alban’s in Elberton and at 10:30 at St Andrew’s in Hartwell. Everyone is welcome.