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Apostolic Celtic Church

About Us

Welcome to the Apostolic Celtic Church, a vibrant and inclusive community dedicated to embracing the transformative power of the Celtic Christian Tradition. At our core, we believe in fostering a deep connection with God, the natural world, and each other. With open hearts and minds, we invite you to embark on a spiritual journey that embraces ancient wisdom in a modern context.

The Apostolic Celtic Church, is a pre-Nicene, Celtic community where faith and daily life intertwine. With a profound reverence for God’s creation, we embrace simplicity and seek a deep connection with our spiritual practices.

Central to our beliefs is the recognition of sacraments as sacred encounters between God and humanity. Through fellowship, worship, prayer, scripture study, and practices inspired by the early church, we commit ourselves to spiritual growth and unity.

Our Christian faith transcends divisions, encompassing people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. All are invited to join us at the Lord’s Table, experiencing the inclusive nature of our community.


Our roots trace back to the ancient Celtic Church, where faith was intertwined with the rhythms of nature and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Over the centuries, this rich tradition has evolved, blending with contemporary influences to form the Apostolic Celtic Church. Today, we honor our heritage while embracing the needs and challenges of the present, striving to carry the light of Christ’s teachings into the world.

The Apostolic Celtic Church traces its heritage/ancestry to the Highlands of Scotland. In the 1940s three friends, William McKinsey, and friends journeyed to the highlands of Scotland to learn about the “Celtic faith”. With some patience and effort, they befriended the local highlanders and were taught their faith traditions. After a few years of learning and absorbing these teachings, they returned home in hopes of spreading the Celtic way of life. In the late 1978, Bishop William McKinsey was living in Edinburgh. As he sensed his life nearing an end he sent for a priest to give him his last rites. The priest David Stalker responded to that call, but McKinsey’s health rebounded. Over the last several years of McKinsey’s life, a strong friendship formed between the two clergy. Bishop McKinsey taught Stalker all he knew of the Celtic faith and eventually consecrated him a Bishop, bestowing the Celtic succession on him through the laying on of hands. Out of this was formed The Celtic Church of Scotland. In the early 2004, John Dillard was sent to bring the Celtic way of faith to the United States. His church in the Western North Carolina Mountains was called “The Provence of St. Brendon”. He trained and consecrated Bishop Ron Shelton who founded the Apostolic Celtic Church.

Celtic Distinctives

The Celtic Church is a unique expression of Christian spirituality, rooted in the ancient traditions of the Celtic people. With a distinct set of values and practices, it offers a refreshing and profound way of experiencing and living out the faith. Here are some key distinctives that define the Celtic Church:

  1. Nature and Creation: The Celtic Church deeply values the natural world as a sacred reflection of God’s presence. It recognizes the interconnectedness of all creation and honors the Divine in the rhythms of nature. This reverence for creation inspires a deep sense of awe, wonder, and stewardship for the environment.
  2. Thin Places: The Celtic Church celebrates the concept of “thin places,” where the boundary between the physical and spiritual realms is believed to be thinner. These are places where one can experience a heightened sense of God’s presence and a deeper connection to the spiritual dimensions of life. Thin places can be found in the beauty of nature, ancient holy sites, or in the hearts of fellow seekers.
  3. Prayer and Contemplation: Prayer is at the heart of the Celtic Church. It embraces a contemplative approach to prayer, inviting individuals to cultivate an intimate and personal relationship with God. The practice of “listening prayer” or “thin place prayer” opens hearts to the gentle whispers of the Divine and invites a deeper communion with God.
  4. Rhythm of Life: The Celtic Church acknowledges the importance of rhythm and balance in spiritual life. It follows the rhythms of the natural world and the liturgical year, embracing seasons of fasting and feasting, work and rest. This cyclical nature of life invites individuals to live in harmony with the seasons and the Divine order.
  5. Hospitality and Community: Hospitality is a cherished value in the Celtic Church. It emphasizes the welcoming of strangers, the nurturing of deep connections, and the recognition of the Divine in every person. Community is seen as a sacred family where individuals support, encourage, and challenge one another on their spiritual journey.
  6. Celtic Saints and Wisdom: The Celtic Church draws inspiration from the lives and teachings of Celtic saints, who embodied the rich spiritual heritage of the Celtic people. These saints, such as St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columba, offer a wealth of wisdom and inspiration, guiding followers to live lives of faith, humility, and courage.
  7. Art, Music, and Poetry: The Celtic Church embraces the creative arts as a means of encountering the Divine. Art, music, and poetry are seen as pathways to express and explore the depths of the soul, connecting individuals with the sacred mysteries and nurturing a sense of beauty and wonder.

The distinctives of the Celtic Church offer a profound and soul-stirring way of experiencing Christianity. It invites individuals to embrace the wonder of creation, cultivate a contemplative prayer life, find rhythm and balance, foster authentic community, draw from the wisdom of the Celtic saints, embrace creativity, embark on pilgrimages, and deepen their connection with God and the world around them.