seal Fr. Chris Culpepper named Mission Vicar
Ten acres purchased
for new church in Crowley

A white rail fence and a row of pecan trees greet the visitor who turns off Highway 1187 – about half a mile west of Granbury road in an unincorporated part of south Tarrant County. The neighbors don’t know it yet, but this property soon will be dedicated to God as the site of the newest church in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

propertyFr. Chris Culpepper is the mission vicar in charge of these 10 acres. Improvements on the land include a well, a modest brick house (“ranch” style, of course) and a spacious mobile home, with a large central living area, kitchen, and rooms suitable for offices. Residential subdivisions are marching steadily westward from Crowley, and in a few years the new SH 121 will come through, about a quarter-mile to the east.

After sitting vacant for some months, the buildings need a bit of sprucing up are not yet ready for occupancy. For now, Fr. Culpepper is conducting Bible Studies each Sunday evening at the Diocesan Center for Ministry, on the west side of Fort Worth.

Funds for purchase of the property came from the sale of Holy Cross Church in Burleson, which closed its doors in 2006 when the vestry determined that the congregation could no longer support itself. Bishop Iker promised the members that he would re-invest the funds in the area south of Loop 820, and a search soon began for suitable property in the booming suburban area. With land values rising rapidly, the search focused on unincorporated areas along existing roadways. This site was one of several identified by Dick Kahle, a member of St. Peter & St. Paul Church in Arlington, who offered his help during the search process.

Now that the right location has been found, Fr. Culpepper says he doesn’t intend to rush into a building project. Instead he is developing a master plan that could include an elementary school on a portion of the property. And he is visiting churches in the diocese to share his vision and enthusiasm, and to encourage others to join him in living out Christ’s Great Commission.