Epiphany Church History
In 1923, Clara Henry and her daughter moved to Crestview. Finding no Episcopal Church here, the Henry’s sought approval from the Diocese of Florida (jurisdictional diocese at that time) to use their parlor for official worship services.
A priest from DeFuniak Springs came each Sunday and gradually the “church” grew until it had taken over a room of the Henry home.
Bertha Henry, who served as a Home Demonstration Agent for the Agricultural Services, discovered there was no public library in Crestview. She promptly emptied another room in their house and, with the help of the National Episcopal United Thank Offering, set up the first public library.
The church grew through the depression and World War II years and the first Epiphany Episcopal Church was established at 492 East Pine Avenue. This location was later sold and for some years the congregation met in homes or rented space from Our Savior Lutheran Church.
In 1972, a dedicated group of communicants represented the congregation in accepting a gift of a building from the Bethel United Methodist Church. One part of the building was constructed in 1936 and an addition was made in 1939. This made it one of the oldest buildings in Crestview being used as a church. With the help of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, the congregation bought the land on Garden Street (where the present church stands) and moved the church building there.
Today, we are still growing. In 1990, St Joseph’s Hall was built, and in 2001, the Rt. Rev Phillip M. Duncan II dedicated our present church. The old church has since been torn down, size and safety being a major concern.
We have an active outreach ministry to help the hungry in North Okaloosa County, through Sharing & Caring (a Crestview based food pantry for the needy).
EPIPHANY ALTAR GUILD The Quiet Servants
Their names are never listed in the bulletin. They don't get elected or have terms limits. They don't wear vestments or get installed. If added together, their years of experience would run into the hundreds; to a certain extent, they are the corporate memory of the Parish. They are your Epiphany Altar Guild members.
Altar Guild members basically serve the clergy. If you have had a family member baptized, an Altar Guild member prepared the font and made sure the water was not icy cold. If you wore a palm cross on Palm Sunday, an Altar Guild member made it, and, if a Lay Eucharistic Visitor has visits you, a Guild member prepared the small kit this Minister uses.
Behind the scenes, they DO wash and iron linens, polish silver, and one or two of them prepare for every service of the church, whether at 5 AM on Easter Sunday or until the last item is washed, dried, and put away on Christmas Eve, perhaps at 1 AM. The responsibility of maintaining a supply of everything they use (wafers and wine, oil for candles, linens) is theirs as well.
If asked why they do this year after year, generally the answer is that they do it because it is their way, with no bells or whistles, to do what needs to be done to set the Lord's table whenever His people need feeding. The Altar Guild is, in a phrase, a group of "God's Housekeepers".
Current Chairperson: Yvonne Hudson
Rector: The Rt. Rev. J. Russell Kendrick
Supply Priest: The Rev. Harry Tipton
Parish Administrator: Courtney Thurber
Sexton: Chris Atkins
Organist/Choir Director: Pat Shew
Laura Hill: Treasurer
EPIPHANY VESTRY 2016
Christine Wakayama: Senior Warden (2016) 850-685-0100
Chris Atkins: Junior Warden (2017) 850-758-0377
Mike Thurber (2017) 850-902-5936
Dennis Jackson (2017) 910-301-3485
Debbie Buckles (2016) 850-902-1698
Patricia Jackson: Clerk 910-301-3485