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St. John of the Cross Episcopal Church, Bristol, Indiana
St. John of the Cross Episcopal Church was founded in 1843 and originally called "St. John's." Its name was changed in the 1960s because there was another St. John's in Elkhart County, and Bishop Klein felt that the two similar names were confusing. St. John's is the only parish in the diocese founded almost entirely through the efforts of a lay woman, Ann Jennette (Burnham) Judson. Such a role for a woman was an unusual occurrence in the 1840s.
Ann Jennette Burnham was born in Auburn, New York, on 29 April 1807, the daughter of Captain John Burnham and wife Barbara (McCarty). Her father had been an officer in the Continental Army who was imprisoned by the British during the war and later became a sea captain. Jennette married Samuel Parsons Judson, a widower, in Batavia on 28 July 1833. Samuel Judson became interested in purchasing land in the West, and in 1834 settled with his wife in Elkhart County, where he laid out the town of Bristol. The couple was active on the Underground Railroad, helping fugitive slaves escape to Michigan. In 1847, a group of slave catchers from Kentucky broke down the front door of their home and seized a fugitive named Thomas Harris. When the Judsons confronted them, they were threatened with guns. The Judsons brought charges, and the men were imprisoned while Harris was freed and made a successful escape. In 1849, Samuel formed the Bristol California Mining and Trading Association and launched an expedition to the gold fields of California, dying en route near Fort Laramie of cholera.
During these years Mrs. Judson was determined to establish an Episcopal Church in Bristol, the first of its kind of any denomination in the town. The congregation was organized on 25 April 1843, and land was purchased under the names of her husband, along with Thomas Wheeler, Henry H. Fowler, and Edward A. Lansing as trustees. Plans were drawn up for a church, and Bishop Jackson Kemper arrived to lay the cornerstone on 29 December 1843. The Rev. Richard S. Adams, missionary at Mishawaka, conducted services every third Sunday beginning in July 1843, but he left in April 1846 and was succeeded by another missionary, the Rev. Benjamin Halsted, formerly of Fort Wayne.
Between 1845 and 1851, members of the congregation constructed the small wood-frame church slowly at what is now 601 East Vistula Street. Construction funds were surprisingly tight, and it took great effort to complete it. Mrs. Judson began reaching out for support and enlisted Bishop Kemper for help. After informing him of the planned organization of the parish in 1843, Kemper replied, "I rejoice at your perseverance and pray that it never flag. The divine Head of the Church, in His own good time, will help those efforts which are put forth to the glory of His Holy name."
Kemper wrote a letter of introduction for the fund raising effort in December 1843, and Albert Royce, a vestryman, managed to raise just $12.25. Undeterred, Mrs. Judson made a personal visit East the following year to meet with friends and solicit additional funds, but the building was still not finished in May 1848, when Kemper managed to conduct a service within its open frame. Mrs. Judson embarked on a second trip, and the bishop wrote her another letter of introduction: "The zeal of this lady for the House of God, and her anxiety to receive for her children and neighbors the sacred privileges of the Sanctuary, deserves the approbation and encouragement of all the well wishers of our beloved Zion." Bishop Samuel McCoskry of Michigan also wrote a letter, saying: "I know of no place in which the Church has greater claims upon Churchmen than at Bristol. There is no place of worship of any kind in it, and the possibility is that if Mrs. Judson is successful in her mission, the larger part of the population will be brought into the Church."
Mrs. Judson wrote later that she visited Buffalo and New York City, as well as other intermediate cities and towns. An unidentified priest, writing in the parish register, noted of Mrs. Judson's efforts: "It was new work to her experience, but, as results will show, not beyond her large and generous capacities. It was a work, too, brought with many disappointments and annoyances and must prove especially so to one of her refined sensibilities; all these things she was willing to endure for His sake, for whose honor and glory she was chiefly anxious to have a temple erected." In 1850, after a third trip east, she brought back $2,222, enough to finish the building and purchase a bell for $180.
Bishop George Upfold consecrated the building on 8 May 1851. The wood-frame building resembled a New England church, with painted wood sides and a simple steeple. St. John's first permanent rector, the Rev. Homer Wheeler, had arrived two years earlier in 1849, and since he had a family, he had insisted that the vestry provide him a parsonage near the church, where a cemetery (or "churchyard") was also located. Land was purchased and eventually a Greek Revival house was erected. Mrs. Judson left town about 1855 and lived for many years in New York. She returned in 1875 to see the church one last time and died a decade later in Chicago in the home of her daughter.
After the vestry bought and sold two different lots for the rectory, they constructed a more permanent building about 1875 during the rectorate of the Rev. Wellington Forgus. A series of rectors, all of relatively short duration, served the parish in the ensuing years until the arrival of the Rev. Henry Streeter and his family in 1907. He had formerly served at Gas City but left because of his growing deafness. He remained at his post as a resident priest for 10 years, and his hearing problems did not hamper his ministry. His family would remain members of the parish. During the 1950s, the Rev. Bruce Mosier served as a part-time priest, moving back and forth between St. James Goshen (where he served as its full-time rector) and Bristol. Mosier was a native of Bristol and had grown up as a member of St. John's.
The Rev. Donald D. Dunn arrived in 1966 and remained five years. An English professor, he taught at Ball State University during the week and conducted services on Sundays. During his successful rectorate, the parish expanded its classroom buildings, the money for which was given as a memorial to the Rev. Henry Streeter. The addition allowed room for a Sunday school that attracted many new families, including some from the Elkhart area. In 1980, during the rectorate of the Rev. John Henry Morgan, a resident priest, the parish was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and received a visit from Bishop Tinsley of Bristol, England.
In 1994, during the rectorate of the Rev. Shelby Scott, the church was renovated and enlarged, changing it in some respects from its original appearance but making it more accommodating for modern liturgy. Scott also led the parish on a mission trip to Honduras, prior to the renovation, where they built a church for a local congregation. In more recent times the parish has been served by two women, the Rev. Carol Fleming and the Rev. Jennifer Coe Fulton.
Richard Samuel Adams, 1843-1846
Benjamin Halsted, 1846-1848
Homer Wheeler, 1849-1853
Albert Bingham, 1855
Almon Gregory, 1858
William Henry Stoy, 1858-1859
Henry M. Thompson, 1859-1862
Joseph Adderly, 1863-1866
Henry M. Thompson, 1867-1871
Wellington Forgus, 1871-1876
Moses Clement Stanley, 1877-1881
Sherwood Rosevelt, 1881-1885
Joseph Gorton Miller, 1885-1888
Franklin White Adams, 1889
Charles Turner, 1889-1892
Sherwood Rosevelt, 1892
Walter Scott, 1894-1900
Addison Alvord Ewing, 1900-1901
Clarence Estelle Brandt, 1901-1907
Henry Stephen Streeter, 1907-1917
Elton Hoyt (deacon), 1919-1920
Edwin Ellsworth Smith, 1920-1921
Walter Jay Lockton, 1921-1933
Lawrence Cecil Ferguson, 1935-1937
Virgil Pierce Stewart, 1937-1939
Harvey Livermore Woolverton, 1939-1941
Dom Leo Kenneth Douglas Patterson, 1941-1945
John Peterson, 1945
Bruce Bickel Mosier, 1945-1948
Charles Ray Boswell, 1950-1951
Bruce Bickel Mosier, 1953-1965
Donald Duane Dunn, 1966-1971
Robert Manning Maxwell, 1971-1973
Hugh Steiner Hostetler (assistant) 1972-1973
Paul Menzies Ross, 1973-1976
William Evans Martin, 1976-1978
Richard Joseph Brown, 1978-1979
John Henry Morgan, 1979-1990
Shelby Hudson Scott, 1990-1996
Timothy Merle Ljunggren, 1997-2004
Richard Wineland, 2005-2010
Carol Fleming, 2011-2014
Jennifer Coe Fulton, 2014-
Ron Kaser, St. John's, Bristol: A Parish History. Bristol, Indiana: Bristol Banner Books, 1989.
Papers and Letters Concerning the Founding of St. John of the Cross Episcopal Church (formerly St. John's Episcopal Church), Bristol, Indiana, 1842-1855, Consisting Chiefly of the Papers of Mrs. Ann Jennette (Burnham) Judson (1807-1885). Fort Wayne: Allen County Public Library, undated.
Parish Register (History Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Burials), 1843-1966
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church, La Porte
St. Paul’s is the third oldest Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Northern Indiana, incorporated on St. James Day, July 25, 1839, shortly after St. Paul’s in Mishawaka, 1837, and Trinity in Michigan City, 1838. However, the history of Episcopalians in La Porte can be traced back at least as far as 1835, when visiting clergy conducted services in town. In August 1837, the Missionary Bishop of Indiana, the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, made his first visit to La Porte and recorded in his diary the baptism of “Dr. Rose’s sick child at home on August 15, 1837, prior to the evening service in the Court House.” The first recorded baptism was that of two-year-old Thomas Lafayette Johnson on November 24, 1838. The Rev. Daniel V. M. Johnson of Michigan City also conducted services before the parish was organized.
St. Paul's first rector was the Rev. Solon Manney, who served the parish for ten years, during which time he began a parochial school where “common and high English, Latin, and Greek were taught.” He also served as head of La Porte University, from which the Mayo brothers graduated before moving to Rochester, Minnesota, and founding the Mayo Clinic. After leaving La Porte, Manney founded what is now Seabury Western Seminary.
Early in the 1840s the southeast corner of Indiana and Maple Avenue was purchased for a church site. However, the property was later exchanged for the present location and “fifty dollars, half in cash and the balance in hewed timbers suitable for the church frame.” The first church building was constructed in 1846 and consecrated by Bishop Kemper on March 2, 1848. Before this time, a member of the congregation said her father “had hauled the benches to and from the places of worship.”
The present Indiana limestone building, an example of English Gothic architecture designed by Fort Wayne architects John F. Wing and Marshall S, Mahurin, was built in 1897 and consecrated in 1898. A local newspaper editor called it “the most imposing church building in La Porte if not in northern Indiana.” The church contained an 1872 organ built by Steer & Turner, which was restored in 1979. More recently, in 2009, an anonymous gift of $60,000 by a parishioner made it possible to renovate the exterior of the building.
In 1954 a $1,000 gift started a fund for a new Parish House, which was completed in 1957. In 1959 a new heating system was installed. The present building was built for $92,000 with only $20,000 remaining to be paid five years later.The two priests who served St. Paul’s the longest are the Rev. George Childs from 1927-49 and the Rev. B. Linford Eyrick from 1956-92.
In 1963 the church sanctuary and nave were remodeled, including new altar, new pews, and new floor. On Tuesday, January 15, 1963, the new altar was consecrated and blessed by Bishop Mallett. The top of the altar is a piece of golden marble mined in the Holy Land; the fifteen foot crucifix is made of white oak and carved limba wood; the tabernacle is bronze and oak, flanked by eight bronze candlesticks. The original sanctuary light has since been replaced. New faceted glass windows were dedicated on May 3, 1963, three of which were given in memory of the Rev. George J. Childs, former rector. The windows depict the four evangelists, St. Paul, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the sacraments, and the corporal works of mercy.From St. Paul's website: http://stpaulslaporte.org/history/
The ministry of the Rev. B. Linford Eyrick spanned from 1956 to 1992 and was the most consequential. He came to La Porte after serving as rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hoosick Falls, New York. He had attended the Hoosac School and Hobart College, and received his seminary training at General Theological Seminary with his degree in 1948. Once in La Porte, he baptized much of the Baby Boom generation of the parish, served several diocesan offices, and was a respected leader in the community. When he arrived, his wife Winnie suggested that the parish open a pre-school, which ran successfully for the next 66 years before eventually closing in 2019. Eyrick died in 1995, three years after his retirement.
In later years the church was served by the Rev. Richard Alford, who left the Episcopal Church for the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as the Rev. Glenn Kanestrom, the Rev. Jamie Jones, the Rev. Anthony Clavier, the Rev. Thomas Kincaid, the Rev. Paul Nesta, and most recently, the Rev. Cn. Michelle Walker, who divides her time as priest-in-charge with being a diocesan missioner for Bishop Douglas Sparks.
Daniel Van Mater Johnson, 1838-1839
Solon Wines Manney, 1839-1849
Hiram M. Roberts, 1851
Franklin Reeve Haff, 1852
Walter Emlen Franklin, 1854-1856
Almon Gregory, 1856-1861
Addis Emmett Bishop, 1862-1864
James Hervey Lee, 1864-1867
Frank Mark Gregg, 1867-1869
George John Magill, 1869-1875
Walter Scott, 1872-1873
Charles Thompson Coerr, 1875
James Taylor Chambers, 1875-1877
Andrew Mackie, 1877-1878
James Langhorne Boxer, 1879-1881
Rush Spencer Eastman, 1883-1886
Walter Scott, 1886-1894
Asa Appleton Abbott, 1894-1895
Thomas Bennington Barlow, 1895-1899
Edward Lemuel Roland Jr., 1899-1902
Addison Alvord Ewing, 1902-1904
Joseph Cooper Hall, 1904-1905
Arthur Edgar Gorter, 1906-1908
Lawrence Southworth Kent, 1908-1910
Daniel Le Baron Goodwin, 1911-1917
Francis John Edmund Barwell-Walker, 1918-1927
George Jay Childs, 1927-1948
Eric F. Pearson, 1949-1951
Robert Frank Royster, 1952-1956
Benjamin Linford Eyrick, 1956-1992
Richard Alford, 1992-1995
Glenn W. Kanestrom, 1997-2002
James Place "Jamie" Jones, 2002-2008
Anthony F. M. Clavier, 2008-2011
S. Thomas Kincaid, 2012-2015
Paul A. Nesta, 2015-2018
John Houghton, 2019-2020 (interim)
Michelle I. Walker, 2020-
Parish Register 1838-1865
Parish Register, 1838-1910
Parish Register, 1911-1939
Parish Register C, Baptisms Confirmations, and Burials, 1940-1979
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Warsaw (defunct)
St. Andrew's was founded in Warsaw, Kosciusko County, in 1861. Serving as its first missionary was the Rev. Louis P. Tschiffely, rector of St. Thomas, Plymouth, who was sent there by Bishop George Upfold to plant a church where none had previously existed. Four years later Upfold dispatched the seminarian Rev. Abraham Reeves, a physician, to serve as its missioner on the first Sunday in Advent, 1864. Reeves was still only a lay reader at the time and would not be ordained to the diaconate until January 1865. He served at the same time at a mission in Columbia City that would fail to take root. The first congregation in Warsaw gathered for worship in a local school. In a report to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, Reeves wrote optimistically, "Now we have the largest congregation in the town. In this place (Warsaw) we labor under very serious difficulties. Methodism runs away with the minds of the people; they are building the largest house of worship in Northern Indiana, and they use every influence they can to keep us down. Again, the Presbyterians have a good building, also the Baptists while we occupy the school-house. We need a church, and a church we must have. Our town is improving very fast and bids fair to become the largest in Northern Indiana except Fort Wayne."
Through his valiant efforts, Reeves succeeded in raising sufficient capital to begin building a church edifice. According to county historian George Nye, the congregation's first building was still under construction and located on the eastern side of Warsaw on Bronson Street when it was destroyed by a tornado on 21 June 1866. Calling Warsaw a "weak" parish, Bishop Upfold attempted to raise money for its repair and noted in his 1867 convention address, "The people are making a noble effort to rebuild it. Both their misfortune and their own earnest effort to retrieve it commend them to the sympathy and pecuniary assistance of their more favored brethren." Reeves was succeeded by the Rev. Walter Scott and later by the Rev. William S. Spiers, a native of Hamilton, Ontario. Spiers died in office in 1879, and his body was sent back to Canada for burial.
Following the 1867 tornado, the congregation moved briefly to a high school room in the Union Schoolhouse until a new brick edifice was finished in 1868, located on the northeast corner of Detroit and Market streets. This was likely on the lot that Bishop Talbot had purchased for the church in 1873 and later deeded to the trustees of the church ten years later. Charter members included Dr. Quayle (junior warden), Walter Scott (senior warden), Edward Murphy, H. W. Upson, Sam Wright, Judge E. Van Long, Ebenezer Hazzard, Bram Funk, Oliver Musselman, Moses Long, Henry Mortimer, Billy Graves, and Dr. Henry Gilbert. During the 1870s, according to Nye, the church was quite active and had the only pipe organ in town, offering elaborate services at Christmas and Easter. The average Sunday attendance at its height was 70.
During the 1880s, however, the pulpit was vacant and was served occasionally by the Rev. Thomas Kemp of Plymouth. Attendance dwindled, and Bishop Knickerbacker commented in his 1887 convention address that "at Warsaw many discouragements have faced the people, who are gradually paying off their embarrassing debt." For several years St. Andrew's was under the care of the diocesan archdeacon, the Rev. Lewis F. Cole, with the Rev. Charles Stout of Goshen visiting occasionally, but their efforts could not revive the parish. It closed in 1896 and was later made into a private home for Selden Webber. No records of this church are known to survive. George E. Nye, the county historian in the early twentieth century, mentioned that the records (in the 1950s) were in the possession of Mrs. George Filar, but no evidence of them has surfaced since that time.
The old St. Andrew's building was razed in 1977.
Abraham Reeves, 1864-1868
Walter Scott, 1870-1872
William Francis Dickinson, 1877
William Stuart Spiers, 1878-1879
George Washington Gates, 1880
John Armitage Farrar, 1883
William Gillis Woolford, 1883
(Vacant, under the occasional care of Thomas Kemp and Lewis Cole until 1896).
George A. Nye, Readings in the History of Warsaw (typescript, Allen County Public Library, 1943), volume 7: 27; 12: 128; 19: 44.
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St. Mary's Episcopal Church, New Carlisle (defunct)
St. Mary's, New Carlisle, began as a mission in 1885, when the Rev. J. Gorton Miller of Bristol began holding monthly services. He remained until 1888, during which time a Ladies Society with seven members was organized. In 1886, this Society purchased two lots on the south side of the village, giving the title to the Diocesan Trustees. The north half of the lot was sold to James Reynolds in 1891, but the south half was dedicated for a church building.
The Rev. Walter Scott of La Porte arrived as missionary in 1890, holding services once a month on a week day. Under his leadership, the mission contracted with George W. Ashley to build a wood-frame church edifice, which he completed in May 1893. Bishop Knickerbacker and several other clergy arrived on 16 May 1893 to hold a service of consecration. Scott resigned in June 1895, just after a silver chalice and paten were presented to the church as a gift. He was followed by the Rev. Thomas B. Barlow, also of La Porte, who remained until 1897 and was followed by the Rev. Elias B. Stockton, who resigned in December. The Rev. John Foster Kirk, a deacon, served the church from December 1897 to May 1898, when he was ordained to the priesthood and celebrated communion for the first time.
St. Mary's was one of the charter congregations of the Diocese of Michigan City in 1898, but its membership dwindled, especially after a prominent lay member decided to become a Christian Scientist. Clarence E. Brandt conducted services from 1899 to 1900, followed by Edward L. Roland from 1901 to 1902. A few services were held in 1906 and 1907, but the mission closed. The building with its windows and fixtures were moved by rail car and incorporated into the new Church of the Good Shepherd in East Chicago, Indiana, in 1915. The wood-face exterior was resurfaced in brick at that time. The extant parish register of St. Mary's contains records from 1885 to 1904.
Joseph Gorton Miller, 1885-1888
Walter Scott, 1890-1895
Thomas Bennington Barlow, 1895-1897
Elias Boudinot Stockton, 1897
John Foster Kirk Jr., 1897-1898
Clarence Estelle Brandt, 1899-1900
Edward L. Roland, 1901-1902
Parish Register, 1885-1904
Church of the Good Shepherd, Fort Wayne (defunct)
In May of 1869, a group of Trinity Episcopal Church parishioners circulated a petition for an Episcopal church on the eastern side of Fort Wayne. It included a statement on the part of proponents that "in our judgment the interest of the Church within the present limits of said parish will be promoted by the organization of another Parish therein for the convenience and accomadation of people residing east of Calhoun Street ..."
The new church was born out of a wave of evangelism that swept both the Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations after the Civil War. The election of Bishop Joseph C. Talbot as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Indiana in 1864 had signaled the beginning of a new evangelical force within the diocese. Talbot was strongly committed to the establishment of new missions and had railed against the fact that 67 counties in the state were without an Episcopal church. There was also a growing sense of the so-called Social Gospel Movement at this time, a belief that the growing numbers of impoverished people and the mounting sanitation problems faced by cities after the war required an ordered religious response for the sake of the public good. By addressing the needs of the transient classes, churches would help elevate moral standards and head off some of the social evils that were rampant.
The response of Trinity Episcopal Church was the creation of a mission called the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was recognized as a parish at the diocesan convention in 1869, Jared D. Bond and William H. Jones, two members, were seated as lay delegates. A meeting at the Allen County Courthouse led to the election of John Ryall, an Irishman and city engineer, as senior warden, and James H. Rowe, a machinist, as junior warden. With the help of members of Trinity, the leaders of the new parish purchased a wood-frame chapel on Holman Street near the railroad shops formerly occupied by Third Presbyterian Church, which had moved to a larger building. In order to raise money for the building fund, the women of the parish had sponsored a strawberry festival in 1869 that attracted attendants from the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges.
Church of the Good Shepherd offered free seating and free musical instruction to its members. In 1870, the building was valued at only $1,000. The first rector was the Rev. John Lenoir Gay, elected in 1869. He left in 1871, when the Rev. Walter Scott of Ohio was elected. Scott declared that under his care between 1871 and 1875, the congregation increased five-fold.The Sunday School grew to 60 scholars in only four years. Financial support remained meager, however, and when Scott left in 1875. the parish did not have the funds to call another rector, and it closed its doors in 1879. The building was used for Temperance Society meetings until 1887, when it was finally sold.
The records of this parish have been digitized and are housed with Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Wayne.
Church of the Good Shepherd Parish Register, 1869-1875
John Lenoir Gay, 1869-1871
Walter Scott, 1871-1875
Rev. Walter Scott
The Rev. Walter Scott was born on 10 March 1836 in Massillon, Ohio, the son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Walters) Scott. He married Susan Ruth Anderson on 19 October 1859 in Indiana. Scott began his career as an attorney and was enumerated with his wife on the 1860 census in Warsaw. He apparently read for orders, was ordained by Bishop Talbot in 1868, and went on to serve as rector of St. Andrew's Church, Warsaw, from 1870 to 1872 while also serving the diocese in a missionary capacity. From here he moved to La Porte, serving as rector from 1872 to 1873 while also assisting with the Church of the Good Shepherd, a mission in Fort Wayne, between 1871 and 1875. He moved to Allegan, Michigan, to become rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd from 1875 to 1884 but returned to Indiana in 1885 to take charge briefly of St. James, Vincennes. He is listed as having charge of St. Paul's, New Albany, Indiana, from 1881 to 1886. He was rector of St. Paul's, La Porte, from 1886 to 1894. Between 1894 and 1900 he was rector of St. John's Bristol. He then moved to Ohio and was enumerated in 1900 in the town of Russia, Lorain County, Ohio. In a convention address, Bishop John Hazen White lamented Scott's move out of the diocese. He commented: "By the removal of the Rev. Walter Scott to Ohio, the Diocese has lost its oldest, and without disrespect to any other, I venture to say, its best loved priest. Mr. Scott possessed a peculiar personality, and while he was never a great man, he was always a valuable man, a pure priest, a wise pastor, a faithful and noble example to the younger clergy, by whom he was surrounded and beloved." Scott continued to do missionary work and between 1909 and 1910 lived in Oberlin. He later returned to Indiana, settled in Elkhart, and died there on 27 January 1922. He was buried in Grace Lawn Cemetery, Elkhart.