Rick Boyd had studied voice with Peggie Howard (as many at St. John’s have) and was singing at Fifth Avenue Baptist when he visited St. John’s Flower Festival. Ric Sidey asked him to sing in a quartet for the All Saints’ Sunday service in 1996 and by May, 1998 Rick was confirmed. When he arrived at the Cathedral, Rick was still working at TVA in the retirement office until retiring in 2002. He was also serving in the Army Reserve and retired in 2009 as Master Sergeant. Typical of Rick’s volunteer spirit, he had been a faithful servant at the Baptist church, building a thriving library and even serving as State President of the Tennessee Baptist Library Association. He traveled all over the state to help set up libraries and led three regional conventions. Rick was fully engrained at the Cathedral, but he was missing his library work; then conversation began about the gift from the Harb family to start a library at the Cathedral. Only a space had been dedicated, so Rick set about his new ministry as Cathedral Librarian, working nearly a year cataloging books, utilizing the computerized database, and assigning library cards. Since then he has continued to grow the collection to nearly 3600 items. With a team of volunteers to serve Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, the library, though sorely underutilized, is a terrific place to find movies, music, and a comprehensive array of books ranging from secular to sacred, fiction to non-fiction. Perhaps most impressive is the 1845 Bible given to St. John’s by a New York publishing company. To Rick the library is not just about books – it preserves our history, tells our story. “Historically, Cathedrals have been the depositories of knowledge. It is a supportive ministry of the Church and of the Diocese in worship and formation.” A few months ago a torrential rain resulted in a significant leak in the roof over the library. A couple hundred books were lost to water damage. The remaining contents had to be removed, flood damage repaired, carpet replaced, and replacement books ordered and cataloged. This Sunday, November 16, the Cathedral Library celebrates its Grand Re-opening.
As an extension of his volunteer duties, Rick will be organizing an electronic catalog of our music library. A tenor in the Choir, Rick is also a monthly team leader in the Flower Guild, and is a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. He loves the fellowship with other members of the parish and the opportunity for them to get to know one another. When asked about his faith, Rick said, “I believe that God opens himself up to us in small increments of change…that people are equal in God’s sight and we should treat each other with respect.”
Please stop by the Cathedral Library this Sunday; browse the impressive collection and introduce yourself to Rick and the library volunteers.