As early as the late 1940s, the leadership of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Wayne had considered the possibility of missionary expansion. The Rev. George B. Wood, who became Trinity's rector in 1947, was surprised that a city the size of Fort Wayne had only a single Episcopal church. After constructing a major new educational wing addition to the downtown church in 1956, Trinity's vestry began to turn its attention to founding a mission as other churches in the diocese were doing at that time. In 1960, the vestry purchased a tract of seven and a half acres at the corner of St. Joe and Flutter roads. Wood and the vestry had determined that this first parochial mission would be located in the northeastern section of the city where new residential growth was expected. In September 1961, the Rev. John B. Hills, the Director of Christian Education at Trinity, accepted the call to become the new vicar of the mission, which was named St. Alban’s. An organizational meeting held at Trinity on January 28, 1962, drew sixty-one people. Wood encouraged those parishioners who lived on the north side of Fort Wayne to support the venture.
On February 4, 1962, the church held its first service in temporary quarters at the Bojrab Club House, 5258 Lahmeyer Road. There were 35 families present: 114 individuals of whom 58 were children.The clubhouse remained the church's home until May 5, 1963. For many years afterward St. Alban's held an annual birthday celebration on the first Sunday in February to commemorate the church's founding.
The first vicar's committee appointed by Father Hills met in January 1962 and included Richard C. Matz, Earle Rabus, Darrell B. Hedrick and John L. Diver. Hills further appointed Gertrude Miller as director of the Altar Guild; Bernard Lewis as Acolyte Warden; and Anne Miller as president of the Women’s Guild. William Smith conducted chapel for the kindergarten. Further appointments included Robert Belcher as superintendent of the church school; George Fuzy as director of the Mens’ Club; and Douglas and Irene Lewis and Nancy Miller as advisors to St. Alban’s Youth groups. Maurice Bonjour headed the ushers, while John Diver became Property Chairman.
Ground breaking for St. Alban’ s Church, located at 8840 St. Joe Road, took place on November 7, 1962. The contemporary-designed church would have a nave that seated 170. The building was completed in May 1963 at a cost of $114,672, and the congregation held held its first service on May 5. Members joined in a procession from the clubhouse with cars loaded with everything that was used for worship. Fr. Hills led the procession driving his red Volkswagen with the processional cross protruding from its sunroof. The cornerstone laying ceremony for the finished church took place on May 10. A time capsule was placed in a copper box that contained a number of mementos, including a stone from the original St. Alban’s Church in England.
By 1964, the congregation had doubled in size with eighteen confirmands that year. In the spring the church built a vicarage at a cost of $25,000. Later that year, Hills married Gwen Hughes, a Fort Wayne native. He resigned the post the following year and moved to Michigan. As a mission of Trinity, the first six clergy at St. Alban’s were all hired by Trinity's rector, which irritated the mission's congregation. The Rev. Rob Roy Rhudy, an alcoholic, had a troubled tenure as vicar in 1965 and was removed by Father Wood early the following year. In 1969, Trinity changed its bylaws to assure that the congregation of St, Alban's would have at least one representative on the vestry, and that person would serve a three-year term.
With the congregation continuing to grow, a group of worshipers circulated a petition for enlarging the church school in February 1970. Signed by sixty-two families, it was presented to the vicar's committee under the leadership of the Rev. Larry Smellie, who had become vicar three years earlier. The committee agreed to form an expansion fund and purchased two mobile trailers for five hundred dollars each to serve as extra classrooms. On February 7, 1971, Bishop Klein consecrated St. Alban’s to signify the end of its indebtedness. Wood announced that the mortgages on both the church and the vicarage were paid. The church had tripled in size by this time and now numbered 112 families. Smellie, who enjoyed a successful pastorate, resigned in September 1971.
The Rev. William Martin supplied through February 1972, and in March, the Rev. Robert Howell Anderson was appointed St. Alban’s new vicar by the Rev. Corydon Randall, Trinity’s new rector. Anderson, Randall's former professor of Homiletics at Yale, was a volunteer fireman and became chaplain of the St. Joe Township Fire Department. He died suddenly of a heart attack while on duty as a fireman on November 1,1972. A month later the Rev. Kenneth Williams, an associate rector at Trinity, was appointed St. Alban’s new vicar.
At the beginning of the following year St. Alban’s hired a fund raising company to launch a capital campaign for the church school. By May, Williams reported having collected $110,000 out of an estimated $234,000 needed. In the meantime, Brookside Evangelical Mennonite Church at 7308 St. Road listed for sale its property and building for $190,000. The vicar's committee determined that buying the Brookside church was a better option than adding on to the existing church. This plan received the approval of Trinity’s vestry, and the moving date was scheduled for September 1974. The congregation borrowed $200,000 for the new mortgage and $40,000 for improvements. The old facility was sold to the Church of the Brethren on September 17, 1974. for $147,000. St. Alban’s moved again and received the welcome of the Mennonite minister, the Rev. Loren Pine. The procession to the new St. Alban’s was led by Bishop Sheridan, clergy, vicar’s committee, and the combined choirs and the congregations of the three Episcopal altars of Fort Wayne.
During the term of the sixth vicar, the Rev. Todd Smelser, St. Alban’s became an independent parish. The 80th Diocesan Convention in 1978 voted to grant St. Alban’s individual parish status in the diocese. Smelser, the former vicar. became the first rector on February 2, 1979 and proved extremely popular. In the fall of that year St. Alban’s hosted the 81st Diocesan Convention. Smelser accepted another call in 1981, and the parish extended a call to the Rev. William Martin as rector. Martin suffered from poor health and served from 1982 until his death in 1986. He was followed by Harold "Skip" Comer, a seminarian who had been raised up in the diocese, who served as rector from 1985 to 2000. He was followed by the Rev. Lloyd Johnson, who served from 2000 to 2006.
The Rev. Daniel K. Layden became its seventh rector in 2007 and served until 2018. For many years the parish has hosted one of the food banks for Associated Churches. The congregation of St. Alban’s, a caring group of Christians, strives through worship, education, and outreach programs to be a light of God’s love in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
John Bigelow Hills, 1962-1965
Rob Roy Rhudy, 1965-1966
Larry Gene Smellie, 1967-1972
Robert Howell Anderson, 1972
William Kenneth Williams, 1972-1976
Todd Dudley Smelser, 1976-1981
William Evans Martin, 1982-1986
Harold Leroy Comer, 1986-2000
Lloyd Johnson, 2001-2006
Margaret Harker, 2006
Daniel K. Layden, 2007-2018
Michael Roeske, 2020-