< Episcopal News and Current Events -- News About ECUSA: Some Historical Facts About Our Parish Episcopal News and Current Events -- News About ECUSA: Some Historical Facts About Our Parish
Today's Quote

A Prayer For This Web Site
Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices; Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"For those who Influence Public Opinion,"
Book of Common Prayer, page 827

In our church, neither a person's gender nor their sexual orientation matter; what does matter is how they serve Jesus Christ as Lord.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Some Historical Facts About Our Parish

Did you know?
Our first and third pastor -- the founder -- was Fr. Archibald Beatty, a missioner from around the Kansas City area? On April 22, 1872 he met with a group of residents here who had founded an organization called Friends of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Independence, Kansas . In that meeting, held in the downtown office of J.A. Eisenberg, the decision was reached to start an Episcopal Church -- or Protestant Episcopal as we were known in those days -- and Fr. Beatty was asked to become the pastor, or rector. He remained with us for three years, until 1875. His duties included holding services in the nearby towns of Coffeyville, and Fredonia as well. Independence was a town of 1500 people in those days.

During his two-plus year's tenure, Sunday services were held in several public halls around town, including City Hall, Gray's Hall, Waggoner Hall, and Dunning Hall. During that time, Fr. Beatty also built our first church, which was located at 8th and Laurel Streets. In April, 1873 Epiphany Church was incorporated with the state as a result of Fr. Beatty's efforts, and we were likewise admitted into communion with the Diocese of Kansas.

After Fr. Beatty had been here about 6 months, his rectory caught on fire and burned down. The rectory was located at (what is now numbered) 617 East Myrtle Street, around First and Myrtle. It had been a very dreadful summer, the crops were mostly all eaten by grasshoppers or scorched from heat, so the fire really was the final straw, one might say. His entire library -- thousands of books of which he had intended to give several to the church to begin our library -- was destroyed. About the same time, an epidemic of spiral menengitis hit our town, and one of the Beatty children died in that.

In April, 1875 he tendered his resignation, and went to work as a chaplain for the Santa Fe Railroad.

Reverend Levi Holden followed him as our pastor after the new church had been closed for nine months, in January, 1876. He remained with us for about two years, then the vestry asked Fr. Beatty to return which he agreed to do, for another year, in September, 1878. He remained for another year, until he was able to raise some money for the church, which he did in September, 1879, and he again turned in his resignation. Independence had been a 'tough act' for Fr. Beatty. He was followed by Reverend C. H. Canfield who stayed only a few months. Canfield was here as our pastor only three months, until February, 1880.



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