The Rev. Mark P. D’Amico and his wife, Sherry, moved from Arizona to take on the responsibilities of this West Point church. D’Amico’s official installment was Nov. 4.
“My wife is from North Carolina and she wanted to return to the South, she wanted to return home,” D’Amico said. “I called Bishop John Upham and asked if there were any openings in the East. He said that there was one in Florida and one in Georgia. I felt that God had plans for me here in Georgia.”
Tina Torrez and her husband, Angel, are members of Saint Andrew’s Church and are pleased that D’Amico and his wife had made their way to their church.
“We came into the church when there wasn’t a regular priest, so it is a blessing that they came here,” Tina Torrez said.
Angel Torrez is a member of the church’s council and owns a construction company. He and his wife volunteer their time to make regular repairs in the church. Angel Torrez also expressed his sincere thanks for the arrival of the D’Amicos.
D’Amico was not always in the clergy and led a very diverse and different life before he was ordained.
D’Amico was raised as a Roman Catholic in a small town near Buffalo, N.Y. He spent his 18th birthday in a Marine Corps boot camp on Parris Island, S.C., and was later stationed in Cherry Point, N.C. It was in North Carolina, while in the military that D’Amico met his wife, Sherry. He also started a law enforcement career as a military police officer.
D’Amico later quit the military and became a detective sergeant in the major crimes division in for the Cherry Point Police Department. After 10 years D’Amico rejoined the armed forces in order to provide a better life for his family.
While on active duty with the National Guard and working as the chief of the Bridgeton Police Department, he attended seminary. In 2005, he retired from the police department and retired from the military as a major. He and his wife then moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he became the vicar of a small church.
“For seven years I ministered at a church that I started out with having only four people in its congregation. It grew to about 35 while I was there,” D’Amico said. “We got some younger people in there as well. It was successful, I would say.”
D’Amico describes the Anglican Church as an, “Old Biblical conservative church. We follow the teachings of the apostles and the fathers of the church.”
“I live and preach from life experiences. I know what it is like to go through the struggles that people have to go through,” D’Amico said. “We are protestants and Catholics, so we have the best of both worlds.”
The West Point church had an opening after the passing of the Rev. Robert Haux, a friend of D’Amico. Both men had similar law enforcement backgrounds and similar types of ministries.
“It is an honor for me to take this church from his ministry. Father Bob and I were good friends,” D’Amico said.
Although their church is in West Point, since the D’Amicos have five dogs, an Amazon parrot and a cat, they couldn’t find a place to rent any closer than Phenix City, Ala. Three days of the week the couple work from their home.
The D’Amicos are very happy at their new church.
“I am closer to North Carolina, but it feels more like a home here. The people here are more friendly and more loving,” Sherry D’Amico said. “We have only been here for a short time but we feel like we are home. We never want to leave, this is home.”
The couple has four children and seven grandchildren, all of whom they see as often as they can.
D’Amico may be reached at 706-643-1616.