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St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Mishawaka
On April 20, 1837, two Michigan clergymen, the Rev. Charles B. Stout, rector of St. Stephen's Church in Edwardsburg and the Rev. Henry F. M. Whitesides of St. James Church in Constantine, went south into northern Indiana to do missionary work. They held an organizational meeting for an Episcopal church on the outskirts of Mishawaka in St. Joseph County and conducted services for thirteen people in a schoolhouse. St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the oldest formally organized parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, began on that date.
No specific record exists of those on St. Paul's first vestry, but by 1842 the congregation purchased property at the corner of First and Spring streets and conveyed it to Hiram Doolittle, John H. Orr, J. E. Hollister, Samuel P. Knight, and Norman Eddy, who were listed as "vestry" and "wardens" of St. Paulʼs Church. A year later the church building that came to be known informally as the “Church on the Hill” was completed under the leadership of the Rev. Richard S. Adams and was consecrated in 1845 by Bishop Jackson Kemper. This frame church in Greek Revival style contained the first belfry bell in Mishawaka, which was cast in 1836. According to one source, the bell was later sold for junk when the church was sold in 1906. Church leaders brought the first organ reportedly from Saratoga Springs, New York, sometime before 1850. Later, they installed a Van Dinter pipe organ, manufactured in Mishawaka. This organ, operated by a hand air pump, was eventually moved to the new church, along with some of the stained glass windows. Finally, John T. Niles, the senior warden, embellished these original structures when he donated a rectory, begun in 1872 and completed in 1876.
The early years were not without difficulties. In 1883, members of the congregation called for the closure of the parish, since no vestry election had occurred for five or six years. Despite these challenges Bishop David Buel Knickerbacker sent the Rev. Augustine Prentiss of South Carolina to serve at St. Paulʼs, along with St. Johnʼs in Elkhart. No one even came to meet Prentiss when his train came to town, yet he had a full congregation at his first service on Sunday, March 9th, preaching on the “Duty of the Hour.” Prentiss revitalized the congregation, and by the time of Bishop Knickerbackerʼs visit on Sunday, July 15th, he had prepared sixteen persons for confirmation. In 1885, the bishop moved him to Indianapolis.
In October 1885, Rev. J. Gorton Miller, B.D., assumed charge of St. Paulʼs jointly with the missionary responsibility of St. Johnʼs, Bristol. The working organizations of the parish consisted of the Wardens and Vestry, a Ladies Society, and a Young Ladies Altar Guild. The women's organizations raised funds for current expenses, repairs, and improvements. In addition, Miller organized a Sunday School. At the beginning of Lent 1886, he had established the custom of celebrating the Holy Eucharist at every Sunday morning service, more frequently than was typical in the Episcopal Church at that time. Miller also introduced the use of Eucharistic vestments of plain white linen, wafer bread, the mixed chalice (a little water with the wine), and the custom of the eastward position of the altar.
On January 1, 1899, after the new diocese had been formed, Bishop John Hazen White sent the Rev. Hamilton D. B. MacNeil to take charge of St. Paulʼs. The parish was free of debt and financially independent at that time. During the next year, the vestry ordered extensive improvements to the building, including the installation of electrical lights, enlarging the choir, and setting a new altar, the gift of Mrs. J. A. Roper and Mrs. E. A. Jurnegan. The rectory also received gifts of a new furnace and bathroom. During the period 1898 to 1902, some of the wardens and vestry of St. Paulʼs included H. H. Hosford, H. G. Eggleston, E. T. Reys, E. G. Richards, Jr., C. A. W. Ostrom, S. G. Todd, M.D., Harvey A. Foroots, Harvey A. Martling, G. G. Eggleston, F. J. Sytz, W. M. Dickinson, S. P. Wilson, W. E. Roe, G. S. Pomeroy, and Ralph H. Jernegan.
MacNeil resigned on February 12, 1902, and was succeeded that same year by the Rev. John Addams Linn (nephew of Jane Addams of Chicago Hull House fame). In 1905, the "Church on the Hill" on Spring St. was sold, and the parish made plans to build a new church and rectory on Second Street (now Lincolnway East), near the new Cedar Street Bridge. The old church was removed to South Union Street and eventually remodeled into a residence.
The construction of the new church came about through the untiring efforts of Linn and the progressiveness of the congregation. The complete cost of the structures was $15,000. Schneider & Austin of South Bend served as architects, and the construction contract was awarded to Hess & Hiner of Mishawaka. The rector laid the cornerstone on July 17, 1906. He fixed the goal of having the work sufficiently completed to hold the dedication on St. Paul's Day, a task that at times required up to 20 workers. Linn celebrated the final services in the old church on January 20, 1907, and he conducted the first service in the new church on Easter Sunday of that year. Bishop White dedicated the church. The windows on either side of the new church were brought from the old one and remain splendid examples of 19th century stained glass. The windows over the entrance, commissioned for the new church by Mrs. E.G. Eberhart, depict the conversion of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. The window above the altar, given by Mrs. J.A. Roper, represents the Risen Lord. The present altar is a larger copy of the original first altar and is adorned with the original symbols. Members of the Bishop Knickerbacker Guild erected the rood screen, designed by Oscar Brubaker in memory of Mrs. Nancy E. Sherman Jernegan in 1916. The hand carved figures from Switzerland were added in 1960 by Alfred S. Ostrom and Mrs. M.H. Goodman in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Ostrom. The statue of St. Charles I of England, king and martyr, carved in Italy, was given in memory of Alfred S. Ostrom in 1964.
In 1908, Linn left the parish, and he was later killed in action in France in 1918 - the first of the so-called "fighting chaplains" to meet death in World War I. His service is commemorated by a plaque in the sanctuary. The Rev. Lewis C. Rogers began his twenty-five year service as rector later in 1908. That same year, Charles Fairbanks, the Vice President of the United States under Theodore Roosevelt, visited Mishawaka and dined in the undercroft at a meal hosted by the Bishop Knickerbacker Guild.
During the next quarter century the parish experienced significant change when Bishop Campbell Gray named St. Paul's as his Pro-Cathedral in 1925, an honor it would hold until 1951. The bishop had somewhat grandiose plans to build a magnificent new cathedral on the corner of Cedar and Lincoln Way, designed in the Gothic Revival style by the renowned architect Ralph Adams Cram. However, the Great Depression of 1930-1936 and subsequent World War II defeated any chance of realizing this dream when insufficient funds could be raised. The parish did acquire the corner lot as a result of these plans, however. J. Alvin Scott donated it with the provision that it revert to his heirs if not built upon in 25 years, though his heirs later released this provision.
The Depression hit the church so hard that when Rogers retired in 1933, the bishop took over as rector and had his salary paid to the Diocese to make up St. Paulʼs arrearage in its diocesan assessment. The parish began its financial recovery with the arrival of the Very Rev. Archie Ira Drake, a dramatic personage, who became rector in 1935. Although his personal problems with alcoholism forced him to resign in 1937, he laid a solid foundation for renewal of the parish. After leaving, Drake went to the Holy Cross monastery in New York where he edited the St. Augustineʼs Prayer Book and became the national chaplain of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Very Rev. Russell R. Ingersoll, who served from 1938 to 1942, and the Very Rev. Erland L. Groton, who succeeded Ingersoll and served until 1952, continued the work of building up the parish. During their tenure, the organ was moved from the front, inside the rood screen (behind where the pulpit stands today), to its present location at the rear of the church, thereby enlarging the chancel. The Van Dinter organ was replaced by one of the early electric organs, and a later model donated by Miss Neitzel subsequently replaced this one. During this time, a boysʼ choir was organized under the direction of Miss Winifred Wonderlick, a music teacher at Bingham School, and the Ladies Service League was especially active in its ministry.
Many of the members of the church served in the armed services during World War II. Two members were killed, including Charles Butz, serving in the Army, and Elizabeth Richardson, serving in the American Red Cross. A plaque in the church nave commemorates their sacrifice. St. Paulʼs continued as the Pro-Cathedral of the diocese until Bishop Reginald Mallett, Bishop Grayʼs successor, chose to move the bishopʼs residence to South Bend, and in 1950 removed the title Pro-Cathedral from St. Paulʼs. In 1957, he was formally enthroned in the new St. James Cathedral in downtown South Bend, which remains the cathedral today.
In 1952, the Rev. Wilbur B. Dexter became rector of St. Paulʼs. A native of Cleveland and a graduate of Oberlin College and Nashotah House, Dexter brought continued growth to the parish in his early years as rector. A new rectory was purchased on Edgewater Drive, across the river from the church. The old rectory next to the church became the church school and a chapel. The parish hall was refurbished and paneling added; a new nursery was added; a new roof was put on the church and connecting building.
Dexter was one of the first priests in the diocese to adopt the Holy Eucharist Rite Two of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as the regular service of the parish. He encouraged women to serve as members of the vestry and girls as acolytes, although he opposed women priests, as did most of the clergy of the diocese at that time under Bishop William Sheridan. A serious illness followed by a broken hip kept Fr. Dexter from his duties at the church for more than a year and led to his retirement to Florida in 1984 after 32 years as rector. During the last years of his tenure, St. Paulʼs saw a sharp decline in attendance.
The Rev. Bruce Mosier, a retired priest from Goshen, served as a supply priest following Dexterʼs retirement. With the encouragement of his wife, Dorothy, Mosier turned around the decline of the parish. The rectory, which had become rundown, was sold and those funds used to start the renovation of the church buildings. Mosier gave new hope to the members of St. Paulʼs, and membership increased to the point where Bishop Sheridan was able to have the Rev. Paul Tracy take over leadership the parish in 1986. When Tracy retired in 1995, the vestry wrote the following mission statement: “The people of St. Paul's Church celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ and serve as witness of God's love through worship, fellowship, and outreach, daily living the promises made in our baptism.”
This statement proved an instrumental point of focus in the search process that led to the call of the Rev. David K. Ottsen to St. Paulʼs as rector in 1996. Previously, Bishop Gray had assigned him to serve the mission of Christ Church in suburban South Bend, which had folded after only a short time. Working with the vestry, Ottsenʼs hard work and leadership brought new vitality to the parish as it sought to live out its mission statement. A successful capital campaign allowed for many improvements to be made to the edifice, including a new roof on the church and the parish house, a new heating and cooling system, a new sound system, new windows in the parish house, refinishing of the floors, restoration of the pews, renovation of the undercroft, and the remodeling of the kitchen. On the outside, new landscaping was done to the front of the buildings and a beautiful memorial garden added to the river frontage in the back.
In addition to making physical improvements, St. Paulʼs leaders brought energy and commitment to minister to the community at large. Programs such as the Food Pantry and Thanksgiving Baskets expanded each year in the 2000s to provide food to the needy, and goals for participation were set and exceeded. In August 2007, St. Paul's became the site of a gun buy-back program in collaboration with area police departments, which resulted in over 250 guns being exchanged for gift certificates to area businesses. Bishop Edward Little observed that St. Paulʼs was unique in its ability to combine its concern for social justice with a zeal for evangelism. Attendance more than doubled during Ottsenʼs tenure. The congregation was composed of a wide variety of people of all ages, from senior citizens to college students as well as a growing number of families with young children due to several recent births. In October 2007, Ottsen announced that he had accepted a call to be the rector at St. Peter's in Brenham, Texas, and he celebrated his farewell Eucharist on 8 Epiphany 2008.
While the church searched for a new rector, Bishop Gray, now retired, served as its interim priest at the church in which he was baptized when his grandfather was bishop of Northern Indiana. On June 11, 2008, the Search Committee formally recommended a candidate, and accordingly, the vestry agreed unanimously to call the Rev. Susan Bunton Haynes, formerly Assistant Rector and later priest-in-charge of the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, to be the new priest. Mother Susan accepted the call and officially took up the rectorship on September 1, 2008, and was installed by Bishop Little on October 10. After a successful rectorate, she was elected bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia in 2019.
Henry F. M. Whitesides, 1837
Charles Brockden Stout, 1839
Foster Thayer, 1842
Richard Samuel Adams, 1842-1846
Benjamin Halsted, 1846-1852
Stephen Douglass, 1852-1853
Martin Frederick Sorenson, 1854-1856
Elias Birdsall, 1856-1858
Colley Alexander Foster, 1860
Joseph Adderly, 1861-1866
Richard Brass, 1866-1871
John Gierlow, 1871-1873
Moses Clement Stanley, 1874-1876
Alfred Thomas Perkins, 1879-1880
Sherwood Rosevelt, 1881-1882
Augustine Prentiss, 1883-1885
Samuel Franklin Myers, 1885-1886
Joseph Gorton Miller, 1886-1888
Frederick Thompson, 1888-1890
Augustine Prentiss, 1890-1892
DeLou Burke, 1892-1898
Hamilton Douglas Bentley MacNeil, 1899-1902
John Addams Linn, 1902-1908
Lewis Curtis Rogers, 1908-1933
James Boyd Coxe, 1933-1935
Archie Ira Drake, 1935-1937
Russell Richard Ingersoll, 1938-1942
Erland Lawrence Groton, 1942-1952
Wilbur B. Dexter, 1952-1984
Bruce Bickel Mosier, 1985
Paul John Tracy, 1986-1995
David K. Ottsen, 1996-2007
Francis Campbell Gray, 2008
Susan Bunton Haynes, 2008-2019
Nathaniel Warne, 2020-
Adapted from St. Paul's website: http://www.stpaulsmishawaka.org/html/history.pdf
St. Paul's Parish Register, 3 volumes, 1837-1933
St. Paul's Parish Register with Vestry Minutes, 1837-1870
St. Paul's Parish Register, 1871-1901
St. Paul's Parish Register, 1903-1933
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Campbell Gray, Second Bishop
Campbell Gray, the second bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, was elected Bishop Coadjutor in January 1925 before Bishop White's death, and consecrated on 1 May 1925 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Wayne. The principal consecrators were all Anglo-Catholics: Reginald H. Weller of Fond du Lac, Edward Fawcett of Quincy, and William W. Webb of Milwaukee. A grainy newsreel of the event shows a series of bishops in copes and miters marching into the church in a scene that would likely have shocked Episcopalians in many other dioceses. Gray's tenure is best remembered for the significant liturgical turn toward Anglo-Catholicism that had germinated during his predecessor's episcopate and would last until nearly the end of the twentieth century.
Gray was born in Bolivar, Tennessee, on 6 January 1879, the son of the Rev. William Crane Gray and Fannie Campbell (Bowers). His family had long affiliations with the Episcopal Church, being collateral descendants of Bishop John Croes, the first Bishop of New Jersey. William Crane Gray, a native of Lambertville, New Jersey, had moved to Tennessee as a boy of ten, when his father, Dr. Joseph R. Gray, established a medical practice in Clarksville. William Crane had studied at Kenyon College, was ordained a priest in 1860, and served as chaplain of a Tennessee regiment in the Civil War. Afterward he had served churches in Bolivar and Nashville, including a 20-year rectorate at the Church of the Advent in Nashville. In 1892, William was elected bishop of the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Florida, during which time he became a pioneer in bringing the Episcopal Church to many small, under-served populations when Florida had seen little development.
Campbell Gray's ideological path toward Anglo-Catholicism is less well documented or discernible from extant records, but he was clearly a different churchman from his father. He graduated from the University of the South at Sewanee in 1901 and from General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1904 - and neither institution was strongly Anglo-Catholic. However, after he had become bishop, he obtained an honorary doctorate from Nashotah House in 1925, where his predisposition toward the Catholic Revival was solidified. For such Anglo-Catholic priests, returning the church to the rich and colorful liturgical heritage before the Reformation was preferred over what they perceived, according to Robert Center, as "the drab, colorless liturgy foisted off on the Church by eighteenth century latitudinarianism." Gray had clearly developed a taste for ceremonial liturgy apart and distinct from what his father had practiced.
Ordained to the priesthood by his father at the Cathedral of St. Luke, Orlando, Florida, in 1905, Gray married Virginia Neil Morgan of Nashville a few months later. He immediately went to work for his father in the missionary district of South Florida, spending nine years before being called as vicar of St. Augustine's Church, Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He had arrived by train, wearing a straw hat, with his wife, three children, and their African-American maid from the Bahamas. His time there, where Nashotah House had a strong theological effect, may have influenced his liturgical tastes. From there he moved to Peoria, Illinois, to become rector of St. Paul's Church, a position that won him notice from Northern Indiana.
After assuming office, Gray made clear his preference that the Holy Eucharist be celebrated every week in each parish. He added, "The ceremonial which accompanies the Holy Eucharist may be simple, moderate, or very elaborate...Your Bishop would like to meet you half way. Diocesan functions will have the full ceremonial. When the Bishop visits your parish, he will conform to your usage." In spite of this sense of adaptability, nearly every parish and mission became full ceremonial within a few years, bringing Northern Indiana into conformity with other so-called "biretta-belt" dioceses that bordered Lake Michigan, but making it out of step with the rest of the national Church. An increasingly wide ideological gulf would come to separate Northern Indiana from its sister diocese, Indianapolis.
A few years later, Gray would defend his churchmanship this way: "The need for the world today is Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Human souls will not be won to him be a weak explaining away of his Godhead ...Men today need, and when we see into their minds we find that they desire, a strong, definite, and fearless presentation of the Faith...There is but one way to draw men unto Christ, and that is to lift Him up. When, therefore, we obey His command and insist upon centering our whole religious life upon the Sacrifice of the Altar, there will almost always be a repetition of what took place in the hour of His agony." In other words, the centerpiece of all worship was the Holy Eucharist, but only the confirmed could receive it.
If the roaring Twenties were a time of economic adventurism, the increasing wealth of many did not translate into greater stewardship for the Diocese. When the national Church had announced the Nation Wide Campaign in 1924 to raise apportioned money from every diocese for missionary work, Northern Indiana had lagged far behind other dioceses. Of the $30,000 apportioned, only $7,000 was paid. The diocese had remained poor, and the bishop had no staff. Gray accepted a proposal that the diocese appoint an archdeacon among the clergy who could help him with some administrative duties, and in 1924 the Rev. Howard R. White filled that office. Gray also began the launch of a diocesan newspaper that had not been published for over a decade.
The new bishop was most concerned about finding a new permanent cathedral in the wake of the loss of Michigan City. The diocese purchased for him a home at 710 Lincolnway in Mishawaka, centrally-located near South Bend. Accordingly, he designated Mishawaka as his see city and St. Paul's as the new pro-cathedral. The parish purchased adjoining land for a new cathedral's construction, and architects, Ralph Adams Cram and Frank Ferguson, devised plans for a towering building with a pleasing Gothic Revival style that was still in vogue. The new cathedral would grace the banks of the St. Joseph River and face Cedar Street, though there was hardly enough land at the site for the structure. Even with other diocesan funds falling short, Gray pressed forward with raising money for the structure.
The lanky new bishop pleased many with his sense of humor and pastoral demeanor, a contrast from his more austere predecessor. A brief biographical sketch described him as possessing "the Franciscan hallmark of serene and saintly piety." Many recalled his genuine warmth that was devoid of White's prickly temper. One woman recalled him entering a room for a church meeting singing "The Old Gray Mare Ain't What She Used to Be" and receiving a warm welcome. He made his rounds of visitations in a Model T Ford, which he nicknamed the Lizzie, but his dress, even on these visits was the cope and miter in contrast to White's rochet and chimere. The Eucharist was usually chanted. Genuflecting, bowing to the processional cross, and crossing oneself became commonplace in most parishes, and many parishioners withheld eating breakfast on Sunday mornings until receiving communion. Some parishes installed confessionals and encouraged the sacrament of penance. Incense at worship was also introduced in some parishes, especially on high holy days. Girls wore chapel veils when presenting themselves for confirmation.
The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s shelved forever any plans for building a cathedral in Mishawaka. Northern Indiana was especially hard-hit as many parishes struggled to remain open and support their rectors. Only a few paid their diocesan assessments in 1931. Bonds held in the diocesan endowment funds had defaulted on interest payments, while other funds in the endowment were used for regular operating costs. Gray refused to take a salary except what he received as a rector. The office of archdeacon was abolished and publication of the diocesan newspaper again suspended. The diocese wrestled with what to do with those parishes in arrears with respect to the diocesan convention, and at length Gray and other leaders decided to seat them with voice but no vote.
Gray worked to buoy the spirits of the diocesan family, even if the news every year seemed more grim. One of the most notable actions was the creation of the Howe Conference. The conference had its roots in the Summer Conference that Bishop White had begun at his cottage at Lake Wawasee in 1915. He had successfully launched it in a rare partnership with the Diocese of Indianapolis, but by 1929, Bishop Joseph Francis had pulled out of the event. In 1933, the leaders of Howe School offered the campus for a summer conference, and Gray at once saw it as an opportunity for offering spiritual nourishment and recreation as well as a means of bringing the diocese together in fellowship. Again, a co-sponsorship with Indianapolis was attempted with the bishops of each diocese alternating as conference president and chaplain. However, by 1935, Indianapolis discontinued its involvement. Nevertheless, between 50 and 100 high school students and adults from Northern Indiana enrolled, and Gray made tuition assistance available. By 1937, with the financial picture beginning to improve, he had named the Rev. J. McNeal Wheatley of Trinity Fort Wayne as the new archdeacon and tasked him with organizing the conference.
Gray faced a variety of administrative challenges brought on by the Depression, particularly with respect to the parishes in the Calumet region near Chicago on the western side of the diocese. White had promoted the establishment of missions in several industrialized areas, but they had proven difficult to sustain in the long term. In 1939, in an attempt to remedy the problem, Gray invited two Benedictine monks, Dom Paul Severance and Dom Leo Patterson, to take charge of three missions: St. Andrew's Valparaiso, St. Stephen's Hobart, and St. Augustine's Gary. They had received training at Nashdom Abbey, an English Benedictine house, that had hoped to establish a Benedictine presence in the United States. As unmarried monks they required only small salaries for subsistence and free housing. Taking up residence in a house in Valparaiso during Easter Week, they converted the dining room into a chapel and received donations of furniture for the other rooms. They named their residence St. Gregory's House, and here they prayed the daily office. Gray was invited to become the first Episcopal Visitor in 1941. Soon afterward Patterson left and was replaced by Dom Francis Hilary Bacon, a noted artist. Eventually, the order would move to Three Rivers, Michigan and founded St. Gregory's Priory.
The outbreak of World War II put further strain on the diocese just as the hardship of the Great Depression had begin to wane. Many men and women from across the diocese served their country in the armed services while several priests became Army chaplains. The parish house of Trinity Fort Wayne became outfitted as a civilian hospital by the Red Cross for the Emergency War Board. Its rector, Father J. McNeal Wheatley, paid regular visits to Baer Field, the local airport, to conduct services for visiting troops. In La Porte, the construction of the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant brought thousands of workers into the La Porte area and housed them in trainer courts. The Rev. George J. Childs, rector of St. Paul's in La Porte, attempted to reach out to them, opening the parish to worker families on Sunday afternoons and attempting to raise money for a missionary. However the effort received no interest from the workers, nor did the Home Mission Board of the national Church see fit to give the idea adequate funding, even though it did assign a missionary jurisdiction to the area.
For Gray, the early 1940s proved too taxing for his health. His daughter, Virginia, died after a surgical operation, and his son, Francis, daughter-in-law Jane, and grandson Francis Jr. were all taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines. In 1943, Gray had surgery, which was followed by a bout of influenza and pneumonia. He recovered sufficiently to preside at the Annual Council on 3 May 1944, but less than two weeks later he suffered a heart attack and died on 16 May 1944. The diocese was stunned by the loss, especially as his health had seemed to be improving. The dual blows of the Depression and World War II had proven too much of a strain. He was well remembered a generation afterward for his kind pastoral presence and for the Catholic liturgical tradition he had instilled.
Robert J. Center, Our Heritage: A History of the First Seventy-five Years of the Diocese of Northern Indiana (South Bend: Dioceseof Northern Indiana, 1973), 18-31.
Order of Service for the Consecration of the Rev. Campbell Gray .... 1 May 1925