Church History and Online Archives

roofrise - Roof RaisingArchival Information

Weekly Orbit Archives

Monthly Orbit Archives

A Short History of St. George's

New Episcopal Mission (1954)

The Reverend Pope (1st Rector, 1954)

Dear Friends (Fred Pope farewell, 1966) 1963 - 1964 Guidebook

Welcome to St. George's (1984) Story of St. George's (25th anniversary publication)

Church History

It seems doubtful the 145 people who attended St. George’s first worship service in March of 1954 could have imagined the home we have today—its vaulting ceilings, beautifully appointed altar, vibrant stained glass windows, magnificent pipe organ, or perfectly pitched steeple bell. They were worshipping, after all, in the basement of a bank building at the present-day site of the Town & Country Mall.  

Still, those first worshipers were anything but visionless. In early 1954 they recognized that their fast-growing community needed a new spiritual home. Within two months they attracted their first congregants, identified a meeting place, and held their first service. By year-end, they welcomed their first vicar, gained official status as a Diocesan mission, and selected a site for a new church building on a beautiful country hilltop.

 

While the church site rose heavenward, the path to building construction proved decidedly mortal; it was strewn with hard work and fundraising. The first of several campaigns to raise money began in the spring of 1955. By August of that same year, enough capital had been generated to break ground on a new parish house. The building, located on the same property we own today (a former farm and apple orchard), was designed to have a first-floor nave and a basement church school.

As construction progressed, so did the congregation. Straining capacity of the old bank building, members worshipped at a local school gymnasium while they waited for their new home—and built a financial foundation for their church community. By the time the first congregant took a seat in the new parish house in March of 1957, St. George’s was self-supporting. As a result, it was designated a full parish at the May 1957 Diocesan Convention.

 By 1961 the St. George congregation counted 500 communicants—too many to be comfortably accommodated in the parish house that once seemed spacious. And so, another building fund was started. The goal: to build a church (incorporating the parish house) with seating capacity for 480 and a full undercroft for parish and community activities. Two years and $325,000 later, that goal was met; in September of 1963, parishioners entered our present church for the first time to worship and celebrate. Their old “parish home” was renamed the Frederick A. Pope Parish Hall (in honor of St. George’s first vicar/rector), was remodeled in 2002 and, with full multimedia capabilities, is used for a variety of fellowship events and educational  ministries.

 History milestones

 

March 1954

First service held in the basement of Merchant’s Bank in Kettering; 28 families comprise the entire congregation

September 1954

Frederick A. Pope arrives from New Hampshire to serve as first vicar; St. George’s mission is officially established

August 1955

Ground is broken for the present parish hall on land provided by the Diocese of Southern Ohio

June 1956

Cornerstone is laid

January 1957

St. George’s becomes a self-supporting parish

March 1957

Church is incorporated under Ohio corporation law; St. George’s new parish home formally opens

May 1957

St. George’s accepted as a full parish at Diocesan Convention; Vicar Frederick A. Pope becomes Rector Frederick A. Pope

April 1961

Congregation votes overwhelmingly to build a new church and expand facilities

June 1962

Ground broken for the new church

November 1962

Second cornerstone laid

September 1963

New church building is dedicated

1966

The Reverend H.R. Wiechert succeeds Frederick A. Pope as rector

1977

The Reverend James S. Paget succeeds H.R. Wiechert as rector

September 1978

Mortgage for the new church paid in full; mortgage document is burned in celebration

1991

The Reverend Carol W. Hull succeeds James S. Paget as rector

1993

The Reverend Paul St. Germain is called as Associate Rector

1994

St. George's completes its accessibility project, giving parishioners easier access to building facilities

2000 

The church installs beautiful new stained glass windows

 April 2001

A new bell is hung in the church steeple

June 2002

Cornerstone service is launched

2006

Additional property is purchased on Manor Lane.  St. Mary's Church in Waynesville arranges contract with St. George's for sacramental services

August 2007

The Reverend Paul St Germain is called to be rector of St. Mark's in Upper Arlington, Ohio

November 2007

The Reverend Deacon Phillip Webster is appointed as Assistant Rector as part of the diocesan intern program.  The Reverend Kiah Webster is appointed as a part-time Assistant Rector. 

May 2008

The Reverend Carol W. Hull retires after 17 years with St. George's.

June 2008

The Very Reverend R. James Larsen appointed Interim Rector.  The Reverend Phillip Webster is transferred to St. Francis, Springboro to complete is internship.

September 2008

A new mission statement is approved.  The Cornerstone service is held only on the first and third Saturday of the month due to short staffing.

Winter 2009

The Reverend Kiah Webster and her husband Phillip both accept new callings in Texas. The Cornerstone service is suspended.

Summer 2010

The Very Rev. R. James Larsen completes his term as Interim Rector. The Reverend Benjamin T. S. Phillips becomes the Fifth Rector of St. George's on August 2, 2010.

2012 

A new vision statement is approved.  The church Roof is replaced and the parking lot is repaired. 

2014 

 Reverend Dr. Calvin Lane joins St. George's as an Associate Rector, November 9, 2014.