Grace Happens, 1989-Present

Grace Church has continued to grow. Parishioners are involved in many local and diocesan programs, including Daughters of the King, Episcopal Youth Community, Education for Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, LINK (Living Interfaith Network), United Thank Offering, the Labyrinth Project, Cursillo, Camp Wakonda, and many others. In its liturgy, education, and outreach programs, Grace attracts and appeals ot people across denominational lines.

During the 300th anniversary year, the parish celebrated three "historic" services, using editions of the Book of Common Prayer from 1869, 1818, and 1662 to commemorate the rich heritage enjoyed by the modern congregation. On June 1, 1997, four of the five living former rectors of Grace, Gordon Davis, John Alfriend, Philip Porcher, and Claude Turner, returned for the last of the historic services. Alfriend, rector from 1964 to 1971, looked out over the gathered people and said, "I don't recognize very many faces anymore, but you are all still the same congregation." This has held true over the entire history of the parish.

Like the apostolic succession, in every generation, there have been some who remembered what had gone before. This has been both boon and burden — the history is beguiling to the point that one can almost worship the traditions and forget the call to minister to a changing world. However, at Grace Church the building itself stands witness to the living ministry, having been changed to adapt to the needs of those who worship in this place. Each generation has found comfort and nourishment within the rugged walls that has empowered them to go out and answer Jesus' command: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)

TimeLine of Significant Events

  • 1989 - The Reverend Carleton B. Bakkum and family are called to Grace
  • 1995 - From annual report: 385 communicants, average Sunday attendance of 235, total revenue of $217,438
  • 1996 - Grace Church breaks ground on a $750,000 expansion of the parish house
  • 1997 - Grace Church celebrates 300th anniversary of the present building
Last Published: March 5, 2010 10:15 AM
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