The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Equipping the Saints

new churches

Five new congregations join the diocese
at its 27th Annual Convention

 

  The diocese is delighted to welcome five new churches at its plenary business meeting on Saturday, Nov. 7. Following is a brief sketch of each congregation.
 

Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, serving southwest Tarrant County, is the diocese’s newest mission congregation. The last mission church established by the diocese was St. Barnabas the Apostle, which was received by the convention in 2002.

Christ the Redeemer, Fort Worth

Fr. Christopher Culpepper is Christ the Redeemer’s church-planter-in-charge. He began meeting and praying with a small group of lay people in January 2008 and held the first service at Pentecost that year. The monthly services soon outgrew the chapel in the Diocesan Center and moved to a meeting room at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Area on Bryant Irvin Road in Fort Worth. Regular Sunday morning Eucharist services began in August 2009. A musical praise service is offered on Sunday afternoons at the Church of the Holy Apostles, on the west side of Fort Worth. Between Sundays, members of the congregation meet in small groups for Bible Study and intercessory prayer.

As part of its outreach ministry, Christ the Redeemer is helping to support Summer Twyman on a long-term mission project in Cambodia. Fr. Culpepper also ministers to the college community through the diocesan Canterbury Ministry at TCU. In under two years, the congregation has grown to 75 baptized members who are looking forward to their first episcopal visitation on the third Sunday of Advent.

For more about Christ the Redeemer Church, see www.ctrfw.org.

 

Church of the Holy Spirit, Tulsa, was founded in 2005 when the congregation walked away from property on Yale Avenue, one of the city’s main arteries, due to its disagreements with trends in The Episcopal Church. Fr. Briane Turley became pastor of the flock a year later, when he left TEC after General Convention.

Holy Spirit, Tulsa

The parish realigned under the Province of the Southern Cone and began worshipping somewhat itinerantly while improvements were made on a five-acre piece of property purchased soon after the split. Stops along the way included a warehouse building and former Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, and Lutheran churches. A temporary permit for the church on E. 41st Street was issued two years ago, and final occupancy was established in August of this year. A distinctive feature of the interior is a painting of Jesus’ baptism, which dominates the wide East wall above the altar.

Fr. Turley is assisted by Associate Rector Jason Miller. Theologically, the 216-member parish defines itself as a “three streams” Anglican church – combining an evangelical or biblical stream with the catholic and the pentecostal (charismatic). Holy Spirit holds an annual Pentecost Fair for the surrounding neighborhood and reaches out with the Gospel through Christianity Explored, a 10-week ALPHA-like introductory course based on St. Mark’s Gospel. Student Discipleship, for grades 6-12, is the special project of Fr. Miller.

Members of the parish visited the Diocese of Fort Worth in May 2008 when Archbishop Venables came for several days at Bishop Iker’s invitation. They participated this past summer in a short-term mission trip organized through Camp Crucis. Additional outreach programs include a parish food pantry, involvement in Kairos Prison Ministry and Anglicans for Life, annual mission trips with Children’s Relief International, and a program called Stand in the Gap, which forms small teams of parishioners to assist a single person with a specific need. Teams vary widely, from several Vietnam vets who assisted a soldier returning from deployment in Iraq, to a group of dads who taught a fatherless teen to drive.

To learn more about the parish, see chstulsa.com.

 

St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in Springdale, Arkansas, is a 1928 BCP congregation established in 1986 as a home church. The current church building was purchased and moved across town to the present site on Emma Avenue, where an undercroft had been dug out. (This space now serves as the parish hall.) Offices and a rectory were added later to the three-acre property. A food and clothes bank operates Tuesday through Friday to assist those in need. Weekday services of Morning and Evening Prayer and daily Mass are conducted in a converted tool shed that has been consecrated as St. Francis Chapel.

St. Gabriel’s, Springdale, Ark.

Deacon Ed Knox assists Fr. John Slavin at services on Sundays and Wednesdays in the main church. A Continuing Anglican church, the 99-member parish voted in June to affiliate with the ACNA. Fr. Slavin gives special credit for the church’s development to three founding couples: Howard and Naomi Baird, Bob and Pat Winkelman, and Roy and Maxine Bowman.

Icons of the Archangel Gabriel and Our Lord hang in the church sanctuary, while the church nave is illumined by 12 Apostles’ windows. Mindful of its patron saint’s mission at the Annunciation of Christ, St. Gabriel’s supports a local crisis pregnancy center. This year the parish’s St. Patrick’s Day pro-life fundraiser brought in $4,000 for the center’s support. St. Gabriel’s also has a mission partnership in Sierra Leone.

A native of New York City, Fr. Slavin holds a Ph.D. in and was ordained to the priesthood in April 2008. He and his wife, Pamela, have two children.

St. Gabriel’s will be a mission station of our diocese. The church has a Web site at stgabrielsanglican.org.

 

St. Matthias Church, on Forest Lane in Dallas, was founded in 1960; Fr. Dwight Duncan was called as the parish’s third rector in 1977. Fr. Micah Snell, who was ordained by Bishop Iker in September, is the Diocesan Curate. Bishop James Stanton released the parish and property from the Diocese of Dallas in January 2007, and St. Matthias was immediately received into the Diocese of Argentina under Archbishop Gregory Venables.

St. Matthias, Dallas

Fr. Duncan counts 235 active baptized members (emphasis on active) on the parish rolls. Committed to spiritual growth through teaching and preaching, the parish has funded advanced degrees for two of its members who now serve as Parish Catechists. As a cornerstone of its Christian formation program, a two-year course in biblical literacy is offered continuously through “Weekday Adult School.” As a parish in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, there has been a daily mass on the service schedule for nearly 30 years.

The parish’s first building project was undertaken in 1964. Two more buildings were added in 1968. The current English Gothic church building was completed in 1990, leaving the original building for a Parish House. In 2005, one of the 1968 buildings was replaced, while the other was renovated in a $1.6 million project, providing St. Matthias with a choral rehearsal room, vesting room, music library, conference room, work room, Youth Center, updated nursery, additional offices, and storage. The latest update, funded by a “mini capital stewardship campaign” this year, allowed for renovation and expansion of the original church building, both inside and out.

“For decades,” says Fr. Duncan, “in addition to paying its full diocesan assessments, the parish has tithed all its income to ministry beyond the parish.” Four teams from the parish minister in rotation at the downtown homeless shelter where the parish founded and maintains a hot meals ministry. Other outreach includes a tutoring program at a local elementary school.

The parish Web site is at stmatthias-dallas.org.

 

St. Francis Anglican Church, Dallas, is probably best known as the parish of its third priest, Fr. Homer Rogers. Established as St. Paul’s in 1949 by Bishop Mason, with Fr. Harry Secker Jr. as part-time vicar, the congregation held its first services in Fr. Secker’s home and in city buildings near Bachman Lake. The congregation achieved parish status in 1954 under Fr. Willis Doyle and called Fr. Rogers as its second Rector in 1956.

For 24 years Fr. Rogers directed the parish in solid catholic teaching and practice, with daily Mass, regular Confession and the practice of Marian devotion. He suggested changing the name of the parish to St. Francis to reflect its growing spirituality as a church of the poor whose doors were never locked. Even today, St. Francis is open round the clock for those who wish to pray in the presence of the Blessed (Reserved) Sacrament. The Anglican Service Book is used at all services.

St. Francis, Dallas

For several years in the 1950s the parish owned properties on both Community Drive and Walnut Hill Lane, where the improvements included a World War II-era barracks converted to apartments, which provided some income to help underwrite the mortgage. Even so, the parish lacked funding for a building project, so it sold the Community Drive project, cleared the Walnut Hill land, and warily approved a plan to construct a new church using parish labor. Members Bill Bard and D.C. Lester led the program, and in 1960 the walls began to rise. The neighbors were dubious, but eventually an A-frame all-purpose building (where the sacristy was sometimes used as a kitchen) was dedicated. A decade later, a professionally-constructed parish hall was erected, followed in 1984 by an addition and update to the parish house funded in part by a gift from Dallas real estate developer Trammell Crow, who had known the Rogers family since his childhood.

Fr. James McGhee, the parish’s curate, succeeded Fr. Rogers as Rector in 1980. Fr. David Allen, the current Rector, was called to the parish in 1992. The parish supports Anglicans for Life and the Gabriel Angels, an outreach to women with crisis pregnancies. Members also serve on the Pro-Life Committee of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The Guild of All Souls offers daily prayers, and the Society of Mary regularly meets at the parish. St. Francisfolk, as Fr. Allen calls them, have actively supported a local afterschool outreach program for many years. Along with the people of St. Matthias, they help to feed the poor through North Dallas Shared Ministries.

As an affiliate of both Forward in Faith and the American Anglican Council, the parish reached an agreement with Bishop Stanton in March 2007 to come under Bishop Iker’s pastoral oversight. In December 2008 Bishop Stanton agreed to let the parish leave TEC yet continue to lease its property from the Diocese of Dallas.

Free samples of “smells and bells” are available at stfrancisdallas.org.