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St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Elkhart
The Episcopal Church in the town of Elkhart can trace its roots to the 1840s when three couples - Dr. Joseph Chamberlain and wife Caroline, Eliel Farr and wife Jane, and Chester Gore and wife Rheuanna - began holding prayer services using the Book of Common Prayer in their homes. They never formed a congregation, but in 1849, Bishop George Upfold visited Elkhart and held services in the Presbyterian Church. "At this public service," wrote the Rev. William Galpin, "very few knew how to make the responses, and to make the worship more hearty, the Bishop, before beginning, explained the service and then placed the prayer books he carried about with him on his missionary visits, in the hands of certain persons, and stationed them in various parts of the church, while all who could gathered about these persons and looked on with them. Thus the chants and prayers of the church were heard for the first time by any considerable number in this place."
During the 1850s, Upfold continued to make regular visits, as did several local clergy, including the Rev. Albert Bingham of Lima, the Rev. Henry M. Thompson of Bristol, and the Rev. Joseph Adderly, also of Bristol. However, no church was officially organized. Clearly interested in the town as a potential site for a church, Upfold remarked in his 1858 convention address that he had again visited Elkhart and that it had been occasionally visited by Bingham throughout the year.
Following the Civil War three local women, Ellen Augusta Mead, Ellen Mary Mabley, and Eliza Cornish, began making a trip every Sunday to visit either Bristol or Mishawaka for church services. Bishop Joseph Talbot took notice and in 1867 urged the ailing Bishop Upfold to appoint the Rev. Martin Van Buren Averill to establish a church in town. A register of baptisms was first kept in June of that year, and Averill conducted services at various sites, including Conley's Hall on Main Street. He organized a ladies' society, later known as St. John's Ladies Guild, to help raise money for a church.
Averill led the organization of St. John's Episcopal Church on 1 May 1868, with Benjamin Turnock and John Bostwick elected as the first wardens. The name had been chosen by secret ballot at a parish supper. Men and women brought sealed envelopes with their choices of names, and St. John's proved the overwhelming favorite. In 1869, the congregation under Averill's leadership arranged for the purchase of a lot at Third and Lexington streets. Two parishioners, Judge Oliver H. Main and Benjamin Turlock, gave their personal notes for the purchase and borrowed the money from Judge Howe of Lima. With the occasional help of the congregation, the men paid the notes back with interest, with Howe agreeing to donate $100 toward the lot.
Even before an edifice could be built, the congregation purchased an organ for its worship services in Conley's Hall, replacing a melodeon that was previously in use. Instead of securing a reed organ, they purchased a pipe organ to be used in the church whenever it was built. It was the first such organ in Elkhart and attracted much interest in the community. However, the effort to build a church languished. Averill left in 1870 and his successor, the Rev. Richard Totten, failed to generate enough interest.
Then in 1873, after the election of the Rev. Addis E. Bishop as rector, the congregation broke ground for a new building and completed it the same year. Bishop "soon aroused the people to the need of erecting a new church," and the parish regained the initiative begun under Averill's tenure. The rector worked side by side members of the congregation, carrying lumber and brick in order to complete the building. He donated one of the stained three glass windows out of his personal funds. This small rectangular wood-frame chapel served the parish for the next twelve years, during which time thirteen priests served as rector. Although the rapid turnover did little to promote stability, it improved when the Rev. Franklin Adams arrived in 1887. He stayed four years and completed construction of a rectory.
Realizing that a better church was needed, the vestry developed new construction plans immediately after the arrival of the Rev. William Galpin of Michigan in 1894. Galpin appointed a building committee to begin raising the necessary funds. In 1895, construction began on the present edifice in an elaborate Gothic Revival style under a design by local architect A. H. Elwood. Nicknamed "the Tower," the church became identified regionally as one of the most ornate and outstanding examples of that style. The first service was held on 5 July 1896, even while construction was still underway. The nave was completed in August. Bishop John Hazen White consecrated the building on 11 June 1902, once it was out of debt.
The twentieth century brought many changes to the parish. Under the rectorship of William Wesley Daup in 1918, St. John's constructed a new rectory. The Rev. Walter Lockton arrived in 1920 and served 17 years, taking an active role in the diocese. The Rev. Leslie Skerry Olsen, a native of Colorado and a graduate of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, took charge in 1943 and had another long rectorate of 14 years. During this time the parish grew to more than 1,000 communicants. In 1953-54, the parish constructed an addition with classrooms, offices, and a common room.
Olsen was succeeded by the Rev. Carl H. Richardson in 1957. An army reserve officer, Richardson served 17 years, during which time the parish established St. David's as a mission in 1964. Richardson died suddenly in 1974 and was succeeded by the Rev. John Thomas, a popular rector who served until 1981. Tall and imposing in stature, Thomas and his wife established a popular vacation Bible school and hosted a diocesan convention. His successor, the Rev. Howard Keyse, led a renovation of the chancel and the installation of a new Casavant organ in 1983. He left in 1986 to become rector of St. Ann Church in Woodstock, Illinois.
St. John's has worked with choral interns from the University of Notre Dame's Sacred Music Program to provide outstanding liturgies for the congregation. Keyse's successor, the Rev. Richard Kallenberg, arrived in 1987 and oversaw other renovations. Kallenberg was an unsuccessful candidate for bishop in 2000, when Bishop Gray retired. The parish was later served by the Rev. Daniel Repp and most recently, the Rev. Terri Peterson, who was originally trained and ordained as a Lutheran pastor.
Martin Van Buren Averill, 1867-1870
Richard Totten, 1870-1871
Addis Emmett Bishop, 1873-1875
Gustav Arnold Carstensen, 1876-1877
Erasmus Jurian Hopman Van Deerlin, 1877-1878
Moses Clement Stanley, 1879-1880
Gustav Edmond Purucker, 1882
Erasmus Jurian Hopman Van Deerlin, 1883-1884
Augustine Prentiss, 1884
Samuel Franklin Myers, 1885-1886
Franklin White Adams, 1887-1891
Stephen Elliott Prentiss, 1891-1892
John Frederick Milbank, 1893
William Freeman Galpin, 1894-1903
Richard Rathbone Graham, 1903-1906
Charles Silas Champlin, 1906-1910
Llewellyn Burton Hastings, 1910-1913
William Wesley Daup, 1913-1919
Walter Jay Lockton, 1920-1937
Virgil Pierce Stewart, 1937-1942
Reginald Williams, 1942-1943
Leslie Skerry Olsen, 1943-1957
Carl Hazard Richardson, 1957-1974
John W. Thomas, 1974-1981
Howard Richard Keyse, 1981-1986
Richard A. Kallenberg, 1987-2008
Daniel S. Repp, 2009-2016
Terri L. Peterson, 2017-
John A. Cawley and Robert Meacham, Centuries of Witness: One Hundred & Fifty Years of Christian Witness in Elkhart (Elkhart: Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, 1995).
Parish Register 1, 1868-1893
Parish Register 2, 1893-1902
Parish Register 3, 1902-1918
Parish Register 4, 1914-1931
Parish Register 5, 1931-1943
Parish Register 6, 1943-1953
Parish Register 7, 1953-1978, Communicants
Burial Register, 1955-1982
Confirmation Register, 1952-1973
Baptismal Register, 1953-1964
Marriage Register, 1940-1968
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Trinity Episcopal Church, Logansport
In 1840, Bishop Jackson Kemper visited Logansport as he traveled west on the Wabash & Erie Canal. His visit likely marked the first time a service in the Episcopal Church was held in the town. A year later the Rev. Francis H. L. Laird arrived to establish a congregation, conducting services in a schoolhouse at 228 Market Street. On 29 July 1841, a vestry was elected and chose the name of Trinity for the new congregation. For the next two years the congregation met on the third floor of a downtown building. The vestry raised subscriptions for a church building, and in 1843, a white, wood-frame church was erected on a hill at the northwest corner of Seventh and Market streets. A prime mover of the church was Graham Fitch, who had brought his family from New York in 1834 and had built a house at Seventh and Market streets. A strong abolitionist, he may have given support to fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Between 1843 and 1863, the church held services irregularly as a variety of clergy of short duration came and went. They often held dual pastoral roles with St. Mary's in Delphi. After the Civil War, the church experienced structural problems, and when the Rev. Edward Purdy was called as rector in 1869, he accepted with the understanding that the building would be demolished and a new one of stone constructed. Work on the new edifice began immediately with limestone quarried locally on Fitch's farm on the west side of town and hauled to the site via the Wabash & Erie Canal. On February 19, 1870, the congregation worshiped for the first time in the new building. A new transept and chancel were added six years later as the parish grew under Purdy's leadership. A tracker organ built by the firm Hook and Hastings of Boston was installed in 1877 and is still in use. Many members of the early congregation had been members of the Church of Ireland.
During the 1890s and early 1900s, the parish experienced financial shortages and a number of divisions as various rectors came and went. In 1894, the Rev. Douglas Hobbs reported that in the wake of the financial depression, the year had been the hardest financially in the history of the parish, but he commended the congregation for "the practice of self-denial in meeting their obligations." The Rev. George H. Richardson arrived in 1918 and led the parish in celebrating a jubilee in 1919 and helping to raise funds for an episcopal residence in South Bend for Bishop White. When he left in 1920, he was criticized for self-boasting and for not following canons. His successor, the Rev. Clinton B Cromwell, arrived in 1920 and found the parish "utterly impossible" and "resigned as soon as he could find work elsewhere." A history in the parish register written by Cromwell explained, "a clique wanting to run the church in absolute defiance of the canons and the Bishop resulted, just as in the case of every other priest for 12 or 15 years, in the attempt to starve the Rector." He added, "God only knows what the next man can do - unless he is an angel from heaven."
The next two rectors, Edward Roland and W. Edward Hoffenbacher, had longer rectorates. Over time, especially under Bishop Campbell Gray, Trinity became increasingly Anglo-Catholic. Gray's son, Francis Campbell Gray, served briefly as rector from 1936 to 1937.
In the 1980s, the vestry made plumbing and heating renovations, and the edifice underwent a major renovation. Then in November 1989, during the rectorate of William Hibbert, a severe thunderstorm struck the church, tearing off part of the roof in a downdraft. Much of the interior was severely damaged, but funds arrived to help rebuild the church. In addition to insurance money, financial help came from many parts of the diocese. In November 1990, the restored church was rededicated by Bishop Frank Gray.
Under the ministry of the Rev. Clark Miller, who became rector in 2010, the parish began giving away school supplies to needy children, which quickly expanded to providing clothes and free haircuts. It also opened a food pantry that serves between 75 and 80 people on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
Francis H. L. Laird, 1841-1843
Anson Clark, 1845-1846
Thomas Bassel Fairchild, 1848
Josiah Phelps, 1849-1850
Frederick Durbin Harriman, 1850-1852
Walter Emlen Franklin, 1852-1854
Henry Cook Stowell, 1854
John Trimble, 1855-1857
Alonzo James Madison Hudson, 1857-1858
Elias Birdsall, 1858-1860
Nathaniel Rue High, 1860-1861
Abner Platt Brush, 1863
John Edward Jackson Jr., 1866-1868
Edward James Purdy, 1869-1879
John Andrew Dooris, 1879-1881
Benjamin Tucker Hutchins, 1881-1882
Gustav Edmond Purucker, 1882-1883
Harry E. Thompson, 1884-1886
Benjamin Franklin Miller, 1887-1891
Douglas Irvine Hobbs, 1891-1895
Francis Clarence Coolbaugh, 1895-1898
Walter Jay Lockton, 1899-1906
Almon Clarke Stengel, 1906-1910
John Cole McKim, 1910
Louis Thibou Scofield, 1911-1914
Charles Frederic Westman, 1914-1918
George Harry Richardson, 1918-1920
Clinton Bradshaw Cromwell, 1920-1921
Edward Lemuel Roland Jr., 1923-1930
William Edward Hoffenbacher, 1930-1936
Francis Campbell Gray, 1936-1937
Raymond Mansfield O'Brien, 1937-1939
Clarence Charles Reimer, 1940-1949
Robert Chesleigh Holmes, 1949-1950
Gerald Lionel Claudius, 1950-1959
Hugh Crichton Edsall, 1959-1961
Henry R. Solem, 1962-1969
Wright Ramsett Johnson, 1969-1977
H. James Considine, 1977-1986
M. Richard Hatfield, 1986-1988
William C. Hibbert, 1989-1991
Michael J. Haas, 1992-2004
Theodore Neidlinger, 2004-2007
Clark S. Miller, 2010-
Barbara Colford, History of Trinity Episcopal Church, 1841-1991 (Logansport: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1991).
Trinity Episcopal Church, Logansport, Vestry Minute Book 1, 1841-1855
Parish Register, 1841-1865 [lost]
Parish Register, 1866-1879
Parish Register, 1880-1930
Rev. Walter Jay Lockton
The Rev. Walter J. Lockton was born in Detroit on 1 February 1871, the son of Walter C. and Isabella Mary (Ibbotson) Lockton. He married Nellie Hamrick in Trinity Cathedral, Michigan City, on 26 June 1899. He served Trinity, Logansport as rector from 1899 to 1906. He went to Hastings, Michigan, and was enumerated there in 1910. From there he went to Battle Creek to become rector of St. Thomas Church. He returned to the Diocese of Northern Indiana in 1920 to become rector of St. John's, Elkhart, where he remained until his retirement in 1937. He died in Elkhart on 8 June 1940 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, La Porte County.