In the latter part of 1945, three men, all residents of Grand Prairie, met in the office of E. Carlyle Smith, Sr. to discuss plans to establish an Episcopal Mission in Grand Prairie. These men were E. Carlyle Smith, Sr., Frank E. Jarrett, and S. A. McIlhenny, Sr. This meeting was followed on 9 January, 1946, by a conference with Bishop C. Avery Mason (then Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Dallas) to discuss definite plans for a Mission.
At that time The Rev. Joe Frederick was in charge of the First Christian Church located on the southwest comer of N. E. 4th and Church Streets. He and the members of the church generously offered the facilities there for services, and so it was there that the first meeting of the congregation was held on 10 February, 1946, and every Sunday thereafter from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. for several months. Services began with the following families participating: E. Carlyle Smith, Sr., R. C. Sanderlin, W. L. Powell, S. A. McIlhenny, Sr., Frank E. Jarrett, Robert M.
Jones, Thomas Lundy, and Sgt. C. H. Moore. The Rev. Bertram Smith from Christ Church, Dallas, conducted the first service. He was followed by various priests from over the Diocese until a Priest-in-Charge was called.
The facilities of the First Christian Church were used until August, 1946, when Mr. Winfield Morton gave the congregation a prefab building in which to conduct services. It was placed on lots at N. W. 8th and Hill Streets which had been given by S. A. McIlhenny, Sr. The Vestry later purchased adjacent lots for future use.
The first Vestry serving the church was appointed by Bishop Mason and was made up of the following men: E. Carlyle Smith, Senior Warden; S. A. Mcilhenny, Junior Warden; Thomas Lundy; Robert M. Jones; Frank E. Jarrett; R. C.Sanderlin; W. L. Powell; and Sgt. C. H. Moore.
The mission began with eight families and grew to a church family of approximately 25 or 30 within three months. The first confirmation class, numbering three, was presented the first Friday in May, 1946. Those confirmed at that time were Michael Fuller Johnstone, Beverly Brewington Johnstone, and Phyllis Matlock Smith. The first person to be baptized at the mission was E. Carlyle Smith, Jr.
In June of 1946, The Rev. William H. Fox came to St. Andrew's from Waxahachie, Hillsboro, Ennis, and Hubbard.
At the annual convention of the Diocese of Dallas in January, 1947, the following petitioners asked the privilege of being admitted as a mission under the name of St. Andrew's: S. A. McIlhenny, C. H. Moore, Bob Lundy, Frank E. Jarrett, Mrs. Fred H. Wagner, Edwin C. Shaw, Mrs. Edwin C. Shaw, R. M. Jones, Mrs. T. E. Lundy, A. W. Etheridge, Wm. Jackley Brown, Mrs. Wm. Jackley Brown, R C. Sanderlin, Mrs. R. C. Sanderlin, Mrs. A. J. Yager, Floyd W. Fisher, T. E. Lundy, E. Carlyle Smith, Mrs. R. M. Jones, Mrs. Frank E. Jarrett. St. Andrew's, along with eleven other congregations, was admitted as a Mission in the Diocese of Dallas.
Immediately following this action, the application of St. Andrew's, Grand Prairie, for admission as a parish into union with the convention was presented with the required number of signatures as follows:
Mrs. Wm. Jackley Brown, Frank E. Jarrett, Mrs. J. C. Thompson, E. Carlyle Smith, W. L. Powell, Mrs. E. Carlyle Smith, T. E. Lundy, Paul Paxton, Mrs. T. E. Lundy, Mrs. Paul Paxton, E. C. Talman, Mrs. Clyde W. Brown, R C. Sanderlin, Mrs. R. V. Miranda, Mrs. R. C. Sanderlin, Mrs. Robert M. Jones, Mrs. F. W. Fisher, R. V. Miranda, Mrs. Wm. T. Zink, Clyde W. Brown, Mrs. E. D. Douthitt, Mrs. W. L. Powell, Mrs. Frank E. Jarrett
On motion, duly seconded and carried, the convention admitted St. Andrew's, Grand Prairie, as a parish and the delegates were accorded seats and votes. Thus St. Andrew's, having fulfilled all requirements, was in the unique position of being admitted as a mission and a parish at the same convention. It was because of the groundwork done prior to its organization by Father Bertram Smith and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew of Christ Church, Dallas, along with the group of enthusiastic laymen in Grand Prairie. St. Andrew's also became the first mission established by Bishop Mason after his consecration as Bishop of the Diocese.
In October of 1946, nine were confirmed; in January, 1947, four were confirmed; and, by the close of 1947, the parish had a communicant strength of 87.
Following the Diocesan Convention in January, 1947, the following men served as Vestrymen: E. Carlyle Smith, S. A. Mcilhenny, Robert M. Jones, Thomas E. Lundy, W. L. Powell, Sgt. C. H. Moore (resigned and replaced by R. V. Miranda,) Clyde Brown, (resigned and replaced by Howard M. Hall.) The Choir Director during that period was M. F. Johnston, and Mrs. Clyde Brown was organist.
In 1948, four prefabricated Quonset-type buildings were obtained and placed behind the church to be used as a parish hall and church school building. Classes also met in the vesting room behind the sanctuary.
The next building project in 1950 was a five-room frame house located at 723 Hill Street to be used as a rectory. Prior to this time, the Rector, Father Wm. H. Fox, had been residing in a small garage apartment a few blocks from the church at the northwest comer of Church and 7th Sts. behind the home of Cassie Gentry.
Late in 1951, the buildings used for a parish hall and church school burned; and in the ensuing months the church school used various facilities including a small city building which at that time was the Grand Prairie Community Center located south of the present city hall. Some classes met in homes of members living near the church, and even the rectory became a Sunday School room. Activities which would nom1ally occupy the parish hall were carried on in homes for the most part.
After the parish hall burned, plans were started for a future building program and a Master Plan for Building was drawn. Since the fire created an immediate and urgent need, it was thought expedient to proceed with building a new parish hall as the first step in the master plan. This building was completed in 1952 and served for all parish activities as well as a nursery and church school.
May, 1951, saw the building fund for the new church building initiated with a "Feast of Bricks," a parish-wide project under the direction of Mrs. Wm. L. Powell. The entire parish was invited to come to a picnic at the parish hall. A large number of bricks which had been blessed by Bishop Mason were offered to members with the agreement that each apply his talents for the next three months to raise $100 to pay for each brick. In September, 1951, under the direction of Mrs. Powell, St. Andrew's held a service of "Ingathering of the Bricks" and thus established the building fund for the church.
Construction of the new building was begun in 1953 and completed in 1954. The building committee was made up of Howard M. Hall, Chairman; J. D. Perkins; and Fred Fanning. The architects were Smith and Warder, Grand Prairie, and Broad and Nelson, Dallas. The value of the entire property at that time, including the parish hall, was approximately $100,000. Vestrymen were R. V. Miranda, Senior Warden; Fred Fanning, Junior Warden; Thomas E. Rogers; Wm. C. Adair; John M. Thorne; E. H. Wright; L. F. Mayer; H. C. Kincaid; and Howard M. Hall. L. S. Mosby was serving the parish as treasurer which he did efficiently for several years before moving to Arlington.
The building was dedicated on Easter Day, 1954, by Bishop Charles Avery Mason. The Rev. Frank E. Jarrett, who had been ordained as priest at St. Andrew's in June of 1949, preached the dedication sermon. Participating in the Service of Dedication were The Rev. Francis W. Tyndall and The Rev. W. G. Brook, both of Irving; The Rev. W. Harrison Beste of Arlington; and The Rev. Richard P. Layman of St. Joseph's, Grand Prairie. These churches are considered sister churches of St. Andrew's since their organization was a direct result of efforts made by parishioners from St. Andrew's. Mrs. Ashley P. Vaughan III was organist for the dedication.
Upon completion of this building, the magnificent Christus Rex, designed and executed in lead by the talented and internationally acclaimed artist Octavio Medellin of Dallas, was hung over the High Altar. A group of men and women who were members of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament began to meet in the new church for special devotions.
Sometime in 1953 the Vestry had purchased a lot immediately west of the church to be used for parking. This was a fifty-foot lot with a small house on it, and the church offices were housed there until the new building was completed. At that time there was an additional fifty-foot lot with a house on it at the southeast comer of 8th and Hill Streets, immediately adjacent to the property occupied by the church and parking lot. When the church building was completed, the offices were moved into the space designated for that purpose. Besides offices for the Rector and the church secretary, Dorothy Mary Rogers, who was one of the first persons to act in this capacity, the building contained an area known as the "common room." Part of this space has since been converted to expanded office areas; but at that time it was used for many purposes such as inquirer's classes, Vestry meetings, St. Margaret-Mary's Chapter of the Daughters of the King (organized in 1952), the Junior Daughters of the King, and various other meetings.
The prefab building structure previously used for the church was converted to church school classrooms after completion of the new church building. Later, to make way for the last phase of the building plan, the same structure was moved to the Bishop Mason Retreat Center in Grapevine to house the monks who lived at the center. In time the building became the center of the monk's living complex, having seen additions to it on all four sides, and remained dedicated for use of the church in the Diocese of Dallas.
The Rev. Wm. H. Fox resigned in July, 1955, to accept a diocesan position; and in September The Rev. Mark G. Holliday became Rector, coming to St. Andrew's from St. Matthias, Athens, Texas.
New pews were purchased in 1956 from funds donated by various parish organizations and communicants, some of whom purchased one or more as gifts. To supplement these funds a "Pence for Pews Fund" was initiated which continued for several years after the pews were paid for in order to finance other projects, among them furnishings for the educational building. An early young people's group called the YPF or Young People's Fellowship helped in this project and many others and sponsored activities for the entire parish.
In 1957 the church bought the lot and small house to the east of the rectory for future expansion. That house was rented until construction began on the church school building some years later. It was then vacated so that it could be used by church school classes in the interim and was eventually removed.
During this period Father Holliday's request for a one-year leave of absence in 1959-60 to study at St. Augustine's College in Canterbury, England was granted. During his absence The Very Rev. Gerald G. Moore, retired Dean of St. Matthew's Cathedral, Dallas, came to St. Andrew's as priest-in-charge. He moved into the rectory next to the church with his sister, Miss Kathleen Moore. Under the guidance and love of this saintly man and with the help of his beloved sister, this year may very likely be remembered as a high point in the spiritual life of the parish. As secretary to Father Holliday, the church office and its functions were kept intact and at Father Moore's disposal during his tenure by Vema Bargsley. Using a monetary gift of appreciation from Fr. Moore, Clyde and Verna Bargsley donated the silver Sanctus Bell used at more somber services such as during Lent.
At long last, in July of 1960, groundbreaking for the last unit of the Master Plan was held with Father Moore officiating. This unit was the educational building. The building committee consisted of Senior Warden Howard M. Hall, Chairman E. Carlyle Smith, and J. D. Perkins; E. Carlyle Smith was also chairman of the finance committee for this project. James M. Brown was the church treasurer, and Clyde L. Bargsley served as the Vestry clerk. During negotiations for financing this final building project, a new mortgage was initiated and all indebtedness brought under one mortgage. Serving on the finance committee, along with the chairman, E. Carlyle Smith, were Howard M. Hall, C. P. Waggoner, and Fred Fanning.
By the end of 1960 the communicant strength was 448, and there were many flourishing parish organizations. St. Anne's Guild, a women's day guild which began in the early 1950's and established St. Anne's Bookstore, was very active. It was also a time when the women of the parish banded together as the Women of St. Andrew's to accommodate those women who worked outside the home.
Father Holliday returned in the fall of 1960; and, although it was indeed a joyous occasion, the joy was somewhat tempered with a feeling of sadness at the departure of Father Moore and Miss Kathleen, both of whom were much beloved by young and old in the parish.
The new educational building was dedicated on 29 January, 1961, by Bishop Joseph M. Harte, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas. Thus the Master Plan was completed on the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of St. Andrew's Church. Through the years--many of those years under the guidance of Christine Hall as Church School Superintendent--the church school had survived meeting in the community house, the old church building, the parish hall, the "little house," and wherever else it could find; but survive it did.
That same year, in September, 1961, St. Andrew's Kindergarten opened under the very capable supervision of Mrs. M. D. Fagg. Since there was no public school kindergarten program, this highly successful operation continued for several years with as many students enrolled as Mrs. Fagg could handle. When it came time for her to retire, no replacement could be found and the kindergarten closed in 1972.
Two lots across N. W. 8th St., west of the main church property, were purchased by the church in 1962 for enlargement of parking facilities.
In the ensuing years there were continuing projects for improvements and additions to the property; some were gifts and some were financed by the parish. One of the important projects was the purchase of a new organ through donations large and small by parishioners. The new organ was installed in September, 1966, and dedicated in October of that year.
A new rectory was constructed in 1968 on a lot donated by C. P. Waggoner at 1914 Hampshire Place, Grand Prairie.
The Rev. James Calhoun joined St. Andrew's as curate and assistant to Father Holliday at Easter, 1970. He was the second curate in the history of the parish, having been preceded by the Rev. Wm. W. Lipscomb, who came in 1964 and stayed until December, 1965, when he accepted a position as curate at Trinity Church, Ft. Worth.
Under the guidance of Father Holliday, magnificent stained glass windows were installed in the church in 1970, the gifts of many parish families as memorials.
Father Holliday, after more than 15 years as Rector, submitted his resignation in December, 1970, effective 15 January, 1971, to assume duties at St. Clement's Parish, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His gift of teaching guided many members of the parish family as they grew in their spiritual lives and began to understand the real meaning of being a Christian. His influence would be felt for many years to come.
The Rev. James Calhoun served the parish until April, 1971, when he resigned to take a teaching position in Ft. Worth. The parish office stayed in running order through Fathers Holliday, Calhoun, Hargrove, and Maneikis by the dedicated efforts of Esther Gerlitski and her many years of experience in secretarial duties.
In February, 1971, The Rev. Robert J. Hargrove, Jr., of Holy Trinity Parish in West Palm Beach, Florida, accepted the offer to become Rector of St. Andrew's effective the Sunday after Easter in April. After the arrival of Fr. Hargrove and his family, various parish organizations which had been inactive began anew under his leadership. Also, new activities were inaugurated in various areas of parish life including a prayer group, a Bible study group, and a men's club.
One of the highlights during Father Hargrove's ministry was the initiation of a Children's Choir directed by his wife, Linda. The choir was well known and was augmented by the addition of a hand bell choir. The bells were donated by a number of parishioners in honor of family members and friends whose names were positioned on each one.
On St. Andrew's Day, 30 November, 1971, the 25th Anniversary of the parish was celebrated with a parish dinner.
Fr. Hargrove left St. Andrew's on January 1, 1975, to accept a position in the Department of Christian Education in the Diocese of Dallas; and The Rev. John Rice came as Rector on 23 February, 1975, from Memphis, Tennessee. Father Rice resigned to return to Memphis on 31 October, 1975. The Rev. Courtland Moore, Canon to the Bishop, filled in until the spring of 1976, at which time The Rev. Michael Merriman served the parish temporarily until June 1, when The Rev. V. Stanley Maneikis was called to be the Rector of St. Andrew's.
On 25 January, 1977, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, The Rt. Rev. A. Donald Davies, Bishop of Dallas, consecrated the parish church of St. Andrew's and participated in the burning of the mortgage signifying that all indebtedness had been paid. At the same celebration The Rev. V. Stanley Maneikis was formally instituted as Rector of St. Andrew's,
Several projects were initiated and completed including carpeting throughout the church and the refinishing of the pews and other woodwork, The next year a new altar, "The Altar of the Angels," designed by Octavio Medellin, was given to the church in memory of Alva Waggoner by the Waggoner family. Under the supervision of Helen Carr, the needlepoint was completed for the acolyte kneelers and for cushions on the Bishop's side chairs. A Wednesday morning Bible class was organized.
Additional hand bells were purchased in September, 1977, by Father Maneikis.
St. Andrew's Episcopal School, a parochial day school, opened in September, 1978, beginning with three and four-year olds with plans for an additional grade to be added each year. Jo Ann Lombardi was the head teacher until 1979 when Jane Bellion became headmistress of the very successful and widely acclaimed school.
The Boy Scout troop sponsored by St. Andrew's acquired the "Hut" in which to store their equipment since they met in the parish hall. The Women of St. Andrew's later claimed the "Hut" to work on projects and store items' for receptions, etc.
A group of communicants from St. Andrew's left the Episcopal Church to form a new Anglican church under the leadership of former Rector, Father Mark Holliday. This move was due chiefly to the changes in the 1928 Prayer Book and the ordination of women at the 1976 general convention.
In 1982 the Vestry authorized the establishment of a food concession booth at Texas Stadium to be staffed by church members as volunteers. With the money earned from the Stadium Teams, a building and maintenance fund was started.
The Rev. Ted Karpf came as curate for six months; he was ordained into the priesthood at St. Andrew's on October 18, 1982.
The division of the Diocese of Dallas brought St. Andrew's into the Diocese of Ft. Worth as of 1 January, 1983. The Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth was The Rt. Rev. A. Donald Davies.
In March, 1984, Father Maneikis resigned as Rector to accept a position at St. Bartholomew's Church in Arlington. The Rev. Tom Sifford served St. Andrew's as interim Rector from 1 March through 15 July, 1984. The Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson, who was serving as curate at St. Mark's in Arlington, was called to be Rector of St. Andrew's and began his tenure on July 16,1984.
Under the dedicated spiritual leadership of Father Robinson, St. Andrew's once again began to thrive. In addition to the Wednesday morning Bible study group, Father Robinson started a Monday night Bible study and in the fall of 1985 organized an adult forum to be held between the two Sunday Eucharists.
In the fall of 1985 Deacon George Straight came to St. Andrew's, marking the beginning of many years of caring and sharing with the parish that would become a valuable part of the life of the church.
St. Andrew's participation in the diocesan curacy program provided us with two outstanding curates: Father Keith McKenzie, 1 June, 1986, to 6 August, 1987, and Father Bill Stanford who came to us on 1 June, 1987.
St. Andrew's School continued to grow and offer an outstanding curriculum to students from two years through fifth grade and became known throughout the community for the quality of its programs.
In the summer of 1986 the church school building, which housed both the day school and the Sunday School, underwent a total remodeling. The school had grown to offer classes through the fifth grade.
In preparation for future growth, St. Andrew's purchased property at 813 Hill St. and property at 806 College St. in 1985 with options to purchase other lots nearby.
In 1986 St. Andrew's Church celebrated the 40th year of its existence with a capital funds drive dedicated to raising funds to take care of the needs of church and school. The success of the "Building for the Future... Together" drive allowed for the remodeling and expansion of the parish hall and the parish offices in the summer of 1987. These projects had been the second and third priorities after the retirement of the outstanding costs of the education building remodeling which had been accomplished in 1986.
The group working on a needlepoint project which began in June, 1985, was proud to have "The Communion of Saints" altar needlepoint dedicated on St. Andrew's Day, 1987, by The Rt. Rev. Clarence C. Pope, Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth. The project was lovingly designed under the guidance of Ouida Smith and Father Robinson.
The St. Elizabeth's Altar Guild, a dedicated group who goes about its duties with love and devotion to our Lord, has tended the altar of St. Andrew's throughout its history. Quiet and unassuming, these women have been ever faithful to their tasks. In 1987, under the direction of Mary Cym Jarrett, the Altar Guild purchased a new processional cross, matching torches, an additional Sanctus bell of brass, and a thurible and incense boat.
The Society of St. Francis was created to coordinate and receive the giving of food, clothing, and money to help the needy. Their outreach was designed to include expressions of thanksgiving and prayer to those who are sick and shut-in.
Paula Burge resigned in October, 1987, after fifteen years of dedicated service as chairman of the Flower Guild, a group which was responsible for seeing that flowers were donated and arranged on the Altar for every major service.
The organ was replaced in 1988 with a sixteen-rank Tracker Organ built in 1971 for Trinity Church in Irving by Harvey and Zimmer. The new pipe organ was purchased from Trinity Church and dedicated on October 23.
Father Robinson's emphasis on evangelism prompted new growth, and attendance records reached levels higher than at any time during the previous eleven years. When Father Robinson resigned the 31st of October, 1988, to accept a position as Rector for Grace Church in Monroe, Louisiana, the people of St. Andrew's knew replacing the highly respected and capable pastor would not be easy. Father Robinson had brought unity and a new sense of direction to the church. The search committee worked diligently, and the Vestry soon called The Rev. Charles Hough from the Church of the Good Shepherd in Granbury, Texas.
Father Hough, his wife Marilyn, and their two children quickly found their way into the hearts of the congregation. Father Hough officially joined St. Andrew's on 12 March, 1989. The Rev. James P. Dewolfe had been our interim Rector, and he served us with kindness and devotion. The congregation also bade farewell to Father Stanford at the end of April, 1989, when he left St. Andrew's to become Vicar of the mission parishes in Henrietta and Bowie. Father Bill Stanford had first come to St. Andrew's in June, 1987, and was ordained in the church on 2 February, 1987.
To further enhance the musical offerings of the congregation, a piano, owned and used by Phyllis Lyon's father, was donated to the church as a memorial to him by Phyllis and Frank Lyon in 1989.
During this time the entire Episcopal Church of America entered into a period of turmoil. Sensitive and divisive social issues continued to divide otherwise amicable church members throughout the country even more extensively than before. Should women be admitted to the priesthood? Should avowed practicing homosexuals be ordained? What is the role of the church in social and cultural questions of diversity? What is the church's stand on abortion and on euthanasia? St. Andrew's, like all Episcopal Churches and churches in many other denominations as well, felt the strain of conflicting opinions, interpretations, and analyses--what was God's will?
The spiritual leader of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Bishop Pope, saw as his mission steadfast adherence to the beliefs and long- standing traditions of the church and to the Gospel. Through the resolute leadership of Father Hough, the parishioners at St. Andrew's remained faithful to the traditional history of the Church and to the spiritual guidance provided to us through the Scripture.
The Evangelical Catholic Mission (ECM) Synod convened in June, 1989, in Ft. Worth, and the Episcopal Synod of America (ESA) was formed. ESA is a voluntary association of dioceses committed to upholding evangelical faith and catholic order in the Episcopal Church and to proclaiming and propagating this faith and order. Father Hough and the wardens of St. Andrew's attended this event. Subsequently, the Vestry unanimously agreed to affiliate St. Andrew's with the ESA.
On 2 July, 1989, Judy Smith became organist/choirmaster for the parish, replacing Kay Coombs who had been at St., Andrew's since 2 March, 1986. Ms. Coombs accepted a new position in Vermont.
In July Father Straight left his secular job to become full-time clergy. He continued to serve St. Andrew's as a deacon and became more involved in fostering his substance abuse program. St. Jude's Drug and Alcohol Ministry, Inc. was established by Father Straight, with guidance from Ms. Barbara Hopson, to reach out to those with drug and/or alcohol problems by providing step recovery programs.
Father Alan McGlauchlin came to St. Andrew's as curate from the Diocese of Dallas in August, 1989. Father Mc's enthusiasm and infectious good humor made him an instant success with the E. Y. C. and with all areas of his church ministry. He was ordained to the priesthood on January 25, 1990.
St. Andrew's School was the first school in Grand Prairie, public or private, to receive a computer for its students in 1990. In the spring Bishop Pope dedicated the addition of four new classrooms and a music room to complete the school expansion program finished in December, 1989.
Fr. McGlauchlin left. St. Andrew's for St. Mark's in Arlington in June, 1991. He was immediately and greatly missed.
The year 1991 was another busy year for the choir under the outstanding music direction of Judy Smith. In the spring the choir combined with the choir of Church of the Redeemer in Irving for performances of Ralph Vaughn Williams' "Five Mystical Songs" at each church. It was an exciting experience to augment the work of the choir by performing such a challenging piece of music.
In 1992 there were 54 parishes in the Diocese of Ft. Worth; and St. Andrew's, Grand Prairie, was in the top ten in the size of its congregation. St. Andrew's remained in the Eastern Deanery.
Mrs. Sybil Vandermeer retired in May, 1992, after twelve years of loyal service as a teacher at St. Andrew's School.
A new bell tower became a reality and was dedicated in May, 1992. Funding for the bell tower was received anonymously in 1989. After much planning and construction, the bell began to be rung daily as a call to worship.
Major personnel changes took place in 1992. Father Straight received his own much-deserved parish, St. Joseph's, Grand Prairie. Father Stanford returned to St. Andrew's and began once again his loyal service by helping with the sick visitations, Sunday assistance, EYC sponsorship, Boy Scouts, etc. The Episcopal Young Churchmen's group was particularly active in parish and diocesan affairs with Marilyn Hough, Ken and Carol Newton and many others assisting Fr. Stanford.
The highlight of 1992 musically was the performance by the choir of Vivaldi's "Gloria" and Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" from the "Messiah" for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. The choir, still under Judy Smith's direction, was accompanied by a small orchestra composed of professional musicians in the area. Mrs. Tina Hoffman expertly performed all of the solos, both soprano and alto, and was joined by Michael Dyer, tenor, for the duet.
On February 15, 1993, the Bingo operation commenced for the benefit of St. Andrew's School. The license was obtained through the tireless efforts of Bob Whiteside and Johnny Price.
In June, 1993, Scott Hurd arrived at St. Andrew's as curate having graduated from Oxford University in England. He came to the parish as a young, dedicated, soon-to-be priest with a very deep spirituality. He was ordained at St. Andrew's on 15 August,1993.
Later that year, in October, the Diocesan Convention chose The Rev. Jack Iker of Florida to be Bishop Coadjutor of the Ft. Worth Diocese, thereby to become Bishop upon the retirement of Bishop Pope. As President of the Diocesan Standing Committee, Father Hough was very influential in the election of Bishop Iker.
The Outreach Ministry of St. Francis Society began coordinating with the Grand Prairie Food and Clothing Co-op. St. John's Lutheran Church, Grand Prairie, had previously been the recipient of the St. Andrew's volunteers, but they, too, began working with the Co-op.
After eight years of service Bud Henderson resigned as chairman and coordinator of the Texas Stadium Team. The team, begun in 1982, brought in approximately $10,000.00 per year to St. Andrew's. The teams, as there were now several, devoted a lot of time and effort to this highly successful project. Bud was presented with an authentic "Jimmy Johnson" Dallas Cowboys jacket for the great job he did. Alice and Paul Wayne Ernst took over as chiefs of the teams, but under new ownership the stadium offered less profit. It was finally decided that St. Andrew's most profitable fundraising project should be abandoned.
Father Hough announced that he was leaving St. Andrew's on December 31, 1993, to become Canon to the Ordinary, Bishop Jack Iker, in the Diocese of Ft. Worth. Father Hough who emphasized the centrality of Christ in our lives, who placed such importance on the development of Christian education, and who led the parish through some of the troubling times facing the national Episcopal Church would be greatly missed.
The Diocese sent Father Steve Carter to serve as interim priest for a few months on 6 February, 1994. At this time Father Stanford was helping Father Straight at St. Joseph's. When Father Carter left in the spring, Father Hurd was alone as minister to St. Andrew's until The Rev. Willis W. H. Poyser was called to be Rector and arrived in August, 1994. Fr. Poyser's institution was on October 24, 1994. Father Hurd was chosen to be the Rector of All Saint"s Church in Weatherford in November.
Shortly after Father Poyser arrived, Jane Bellion, Headmistress of St. Andrew's School since 1979, resigned. Ms. Bellion was in large measure responsible for the outstanding reputation of the school in academic excellence and spiritual nurturing. Innovative in her approach to learning, Ms. Bellion was lauded by students, teachers, parents, and parishioners.
In April, 1995, Father Poyser resigned. The Rev. Laurens Williams, longtime Rector of All Saint's in Weatherford before his retirement, became interim priest. His kind attentiveness to our parish was very much appreciated.
Five priests were in attendance at St. Andrew's in late 1994-- early 1995: Father Steve Carter, Father Willis Poyser, Father Laurens Williams, Father Bill Stanford, and Father Scott Hurd.
Senior Warden Chris Rivera stated, "1995 was a very difficult time for St. Andrew's, but many of us continued to reflect on the positive views of parish life. Our strength lay in the foundation of Christianity: the belief, worship, and evangelism of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We must continue to faithfully renew our Christian commitment with God'"
Throughout these difficult times, the centripetal force that held all together was the ubiquitous office manager, Laura Phipps. By divine guidance and hard work Laura kept up with all the priests, consoled all the parishioners, and maintained her obligations to the school. Laura first became church secretary and office manager in January, 1985; and she has met all challenges well during her eleven+ years as secretary.
Following the departure of Jane Bellion, Dr, Dale Morris headed the school from August to December, 1994, When he left, Judy Kuster, who had been the assistant to Ms, Bellion, served as interim Head-of-School until July, 1996.
In 1994 the Vestry held a long-range planning session to plan for the future of St. Andrew's Church and School. The result, of the session was a three-phase plan for growth and expansion of the church and the school. During 1994 St, Andrew's was able to make significant progress toward the completion of the first phase. In the summer of 1995 all of the property around St. Andrew's that had been identified as necessary for future growth and expansion became available. By the grace of God, these properties were offered at a more reasonable price than they were once asking. Also, the "Bingo" savings account was at a level that made the purchases possible, so the entire third of the block facing Hill St. on the front and going through to College St. on the back belonged to the parish by the beginning of 1996, the fiftieth year of St. Andrew's.
On II February, 1996, as the Sunday closest to marking the exact time that the parish held its first worship service in 1946, the congregation joined in a combined Eucharist of all services to celebrate and remember this special occasion. The liturgy was the same as used fifty years ago from the 1928 BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER The Mass was celebrated by The Rev. Lauren Williams, Interim Rector, and The Rev. William Stanford, Assistant. Former parishioners and priests were invited to join the parish family, and many were in attendance that day and the coffee hour afterward to help mark that joyous occasion with a special warmth. The 1996 Vestry included: Louis (Chris) Rivera, Senior Warden; Robert Whiteside, Assistant Junior Warden; Judy Brownlow; Marty Cox; Donna Damron Davis; James Hadlock; James Potthoff; Carlyle Smith, Jr.; and Lloyd Smith.
God has always provided a bright future for St. Andrew's Church and St. Andrew's School throughout its fifty years. After much soul searching and prayer by the congregation and search committee, The Rev. Robert Young from St. Clement's Church in Tampa, Florida, was called to be the Rector of St. Andrew's. He joined the congregation in April, 1996, and was instituted as the ninth Rector on September 14. Participating in the service were The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, 'Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Celebrant and Preacher; and The Rev. Canon Charles A. Hough, III, and The Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson, both former rectors of St. Andrew's. An uplifting spirit traveled through the parish as organizations were reinstituted; and Bible study, adult education classes, and children’s education classes began to thrive.
The school celebrated also when Dr. Marjorie Cabe joined the staff as Head of School in August, 1996. Highly qualified, Dr. Cabe's credentials included a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Oklahoma, a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Oklahoma University, and a doctorate in educational administration, as well as a certification as a superintendent for grades K-12. The parish day school has been one of St. Andrew's greatest outreach ministries and will continue into the future.
Also through the years a strong musical ministry has evolved that has had multiple outreach ties to the community: notable among this group is Lorene Terrell, an outstanding musician, communicant, and citizen. Lorene's musical presence was felt all the way from Fr. Holliday's time through Fr. Hough's and Father Hurd's until her death in the mid 1990's. St. Andrew's has been blessed with much musical talent: Lorene's daughter and Father Pat Young's wife, Janet. Father Hargrove's wife, Linda, Father Robinson's wife, Linda, and Father Holliday's mother, Verna. Others have been noted throughout the history.
The parishioners of St. Andrew's look forward to the next fifty years for the glory of God in Grand Prairie, Texas.
St. Andrew's Day 30 November, 1996