The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Al Plummer


Al Plummer has been a member of the Cathedral since 1979. Christie Jennison, program coordinator for membership and stewardship, recently sat down with Al to talk about his experiences at the Cathedral.

“I grew up in Bayard, Nebraska, a small town in the far western panhandle of the state that sits along the Oregon Trail and is located 60 miles from Wyoming, 90 miles from South Dakota, and 60 miles from Colorado. It was a cool place to grow up. We had a very small Episcopal Church in town – I was an acolyte and played the organ occasionally. I took piano lessons until I was a sophomore in high school, so I played the organ when they needed it. I went back to the church recently when I was in town for a reunion, and I don’t remember it being as small as it was! It’s really unbelievably small. I suspect we probably had 25 to 30 people at the church. So, that was my first exposure to the Episcopal Church, and I’ve loved it since then. I always liked the services, the ceremony and liturgy of them.” Al attended the University of Nebraska, where he met his wife, Ginny, while working at a local country club as a lifeguard. He and Ginny then moved to Chicago so that Al could attend Northwestern University Med School, from there went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and finally settled in Atlanta to work at Emory as an internal medicine and pulmonary specialist.

How did you get to the Cathedral? “We joined the Cathedral in 1979 after moving into Fulton County from DeKalb County. We fell in love with the Cathedral right away – it’s a beautiful church. It had what we needed for our four kids, all of whom went through Sunday School here.”

Activities at the Cathedral: “I’ve been an usher for as long as I can remember, and I also serve as a lector and intercessor. I was on the board for the Cathedral Towers for six years, which was very interesting and enjoyable.”

Activities outside the Cathedral: Al is an avid traveler. “My wife and I recently returned from a 25 day trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was such a fantastic trip – it seems like we had one big fantastic thing happen every day. We drove along the coast of New Zealand and then saw the beautiful mountains and lakes from overhead in a little, single engine airplane; spent four or so days in the Outback; saw the Southern Cross at sunrise, a bright constellation located in the southern hemisphere, and three planets at once – Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. It was kind of a sensory overload because we saw so many beautiful things while we were there. I also like to sail – we try to get all our kids and grandkids up to a cabin in Minnesota during the summer for a few weeks.”

Favorite thing about the Cathedral: “I love the services and the clergy, and the diversity of all the staff members is great. We like going to Old Fashioned Sunday School, and I really love Sam’s sermons. The outreach programs are very strong right now. Ginny and I love going to the Antiques Show, that’s one of our favorite things to do. I really like the direction that the Cathedral is moving in these days.”