Thomas S. McAnally

Tom McAnally

Tom McAnally, a retired staff member of United Methodist Communications, served in several elected positions with the Nashville Chapter of RCC and was national president of the former Religious Public Relations Council for two years (1988-1990). He also edited the national Counselor newsletter and was deeply involved in planning national conventions held in Nashville.

Always an advocate for broader participation in the organization, McAnally remembers when being ecumenical was unusual. "RPRC included some communicators from Christian groups that cooperated little with other Christian groups. They found those relationships both professionally and personally rewarding and fulfilling." He also remembers well when efforts were made to include communicators from all religious groups. "We were one of the first truly interfaith organizations of any kind," McAnally recalls with pride. "We modeled what it was like for individuals to support one another while maintaining our own individual religious histories and convictions."

For McAnally, his best memories of RCC are his relationships with individuals of diverse religious backgrounds. "Serving on the national board was especially meaningful. We had time to know and respect one another in a setting that was unlike any other. We learned a lot from each other."

McAnally remembers that RCC and its predecessor organizations were always on the edge financially. "Thanks to people like Marvin Wilbur and Anne Reimel the organization continued to serve in lean times. Many individuals stepped up through the years to provide hours and hours of volunteer service and incalculable amounts of in-kind resources."

McAnally retired in 2001 as director of United Methodist News Service, based in Nashville, Tenn. Previously he had served as director of communications for the Nebraska Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was named distinguished alumnus by OCU in 1985 and was named outstanding communicator by the United Methodist Association of Communicators in 1989.

A native of Oklahoma, he earned his BA degree in journalism from Oklahoma City University in 1962 and his MA degree in Mass Communications from Syracuse (N.Y.) University in 1963.

Following their retirement, McAnally and his wife, Charlotte, continue to reside in Nashville where they are deeply involved in local church and community activities. They have two children and three grandchildren, all of whom reside in Nashville.

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