Rev. Dr. Timothy R. LeCroy serves as Pastor of New Life Ithaca. He is an experienced Pastor, academician, author, and church leader. His gifts, experience, and training provide a great fit for the particular needs of ministry in Ithaca.
Pastor Tim was born in 1978 in upstate South Carolina and grew up there. He was raised in a Christian home and was a part of the Pentecostal tradition. At the age of sixteen, Tim left home to enroll at an elite residential high school called The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. After graduation from GSSM he enrolled at the University of South Carolina before transferring his sophomore year to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC to study Chemical Engineering.
As someone raised in a home committed to Christian observance, Tim learned about Christianity and the teachings of the Bible from a young age. He does not remember a time in which he did not trust Jesus as his savior, but there are some important milestones on his faith journey to mention. He remembers going forward at an altar call to commit his life to Christ about the age of five. He was baptized at the age of 10. Through his middle and high school years he grew in his faith, but he was riddled with guilt, shame, and fear of God’s retribution. He felt that if he was good enough, God would love him and reward him, and if he was not good God would punish him and possibly even condemn him to eternal punishment. He lived in fear of this punishment every day.
When Tim left home for GSSM he stopped closely following the Lord and attending church. He also rebelled against some of the fundamentalist moral teachings he was raised in. For about three years, through his Freshman year in college, he deconstructed his faith, eventually deciding to leave the denomination he was a part of. He was still riddled with guilt and fear even though he wasn’t actively following Christ.
Heading into his Junior year, Tim moved in with some Christian friends and started becoming more actively involved in church and Cru campus ministry. He had decided that he wanted to continue to be a Christian, but he didn’t know what kind. The Summer after his Junior year he went on a mission trip with Cru to Santa Cruz, California. It was there, during a sermon at a local Presbyterian Church, that Tim heard and began to grasp the gospel of grace for the first time. The pastor was preaching from Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Later on that Sunday, Tim approached one of the Cru staff leaders and asked, “Is this really true?” and the leader replied, “Yes!” Tim couldn’t believe that God could love and accept him without having to perform works of righteousness to earn God’s favor. He began to understand that God was saving him simply because of His grace and mercy, and that His love for Tim was unconditional.
Becoming a Presbyterian and the Call to Ministry
After Tim returned from that Summer trip he got involved with a new start up church near NC State’s campus in Raleigh. He was helping lead music and eventually served as a pastoral intern. This church happened to be Presbyterian, and this is when Tim began to learn and embrace the truth’s of Scripture from a Reformed and Covenantal perspective. During his fourth and fifth years as an undergraduate he began to discern a call to ministry, eventually coming under care of the Eastern Carolina Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He graduated with his BS in Chemical Engineering in 2001, but decided to forgo work in the chemical industry to go overseas to serve as a missionary in the country of Slovakia. It was there that he became close friends with his future wife Rachel, who also graduated from NC State University and was serving on the same missionary team as Tim. After they both returned from Slovakia in 2002, they were married in 2003 in Raliegh, NC and moved to St. Louis, MO for Tim to begin his Master of Divinity at Covenant Theological Seminary.
Seminary and PhD
Tim graduated from Covenant Seminary in 2006 and enrolled at Saint Louis University to pursue a PhD in Historical Theology. He majored in Medieval Theology and minored in Patristic Theology. His dissertation was focused on early medieval understandings of the Eucharist. He graduated from SLU with his PhD in 2012.
Family and Ministry
Tim and Rachel welcomed their first born child in 2012, a daughter whom they named Ruby Mae. Her sister Lucy Belle was born in 2014. Tim took his first pastorate at a PCA church in Columbia, MO, a town not unlike Ithaca. Columbia is the home of the University of Missouri, the flagship university for the State. He pastored there for 7 years before taking a call in 2019 to be Senior Pastor at an urban church back in St. Louis. He served there until the effects of the pandemic and internal longstanding issues in the church lead Tim to resign his position. He taught at a christian high school in St. Louis for the 2021-2022 academic year before he received the call from the Elders of New Life Ithaca to come be their new pastor. Tim, Rachel, and the girls moved to Ithaca in August of 2022.
In addition to being a pastor Tim is also a professor. He is a Visiting Instructor at Covenant Seminary where he taught the core MDiv course “Ancient and Medieval Church History” on campus for 10 years. He continues to teach that course for Covenant’s on-line degree program. Through the years Dr. LeCroy, as his students call him, has taught and mentored hundreds of future leaders in the church. Many of those former students are now his pastoral colleagues, a source of great joy and satisfaction for him.
Tim is also a published author and speaker on topics surrounding church history, theology, liturgy and sacraments. His books are located in libraries around the world.
Tim’s academic background fits the Ithaca scene well. He is able to bring deep truth and understanding to the issues we face as Christians today, especially those who are in the upper levels of academia.
Leadership in the PCA
Tim has also served as a leader in our denomination, the PCA. He previously served on the Administrative Committee of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors for the PCA. He most recently served as chairman of the PCA’s Ad Interim Committee on Abuse. That report was released in 2022, and you can read more about that here.
In 2015 Tim was a respondent to Robert Louis Wilken (noted patristics scholar) at the Nevin lectures held at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham. He has works published on the Didache (early church), St. Bonaventure (Medieval Scholasticism), and Jan Hus (late medieval, Pre-Reformation). His dissertation was on Carolingian ecclesiology with a focus on the Eucharist (early Medieval). He has a published translation of Bonaventure’s Commentary on the Sentences, which is held by hundreds of academic libraries across the world. He contributed a chapter to Heal Us, Emmanuel, a book about race and the gospel written by PCA leaders. He contributed to Addressing Abuse: A Theological and Practical Guide.
Tim serves on the editorial board of the website Semper Ref. Several of his essays are published on that website. He’s also had work published at the Theopolis Institute, Mere Orthodoxy, and ByFaith. He has been interviewed by several newspapers and magazines, including The Atlantic.