A Brief History
of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church – Lubbock, Texas
St. Christopher’s held
its first worship service on Sexagesima Sunday, February 13, 1955. As a
parochial mission of St. Paul’s Episcopal
Church, Lubbock, St. Christopher’s grew rapidly. Five
vestry members and approximately 90 members of St. Paul’s
congregation pledged their generous
financial, spiritual, and advisory support. The mission was located at 42nd and Elgin
St. Christopher’s is currently located.
In 1956, Fr. Thomas Miller accepted a call to St.
Christopher’s mission as a vicar. Within two weeks
of his arrival, future plans for expansion and a church school
were approved to start in the fall of 1956.
In August of that year, the “Roundup” Vacation Bible School began,
and it is still a part of the yearly
activities of the church. For the next few years, there was seldom a period of time
when the church
was not planning or erecting a building, or raising money for that purpose. St. Christopher’s became
parish in the Diocese of Northwest Texas in 1957.
From the beginning, St. Christopher’s Auxiliary was involved
in local and world outreach. It hosted
parish dinners, served coffee after the services, kept the kitchen in order, and
performed other such
During the next decade, the
growth of communicants continued and the church and school expanded.
In 1966, a new building was constructed for worship
and parish activities. The old building was
remodeled for Sunday school and St. Christopher’s Day School. Both
projects were completed and
dedicated in time for the new school year. In 1963, Lubbock Public Schools did not have a
for dyslexia, a learning disability in children. Consequently, a highly successful Correction Learning
was added to St. Christopher’s School. In 1964, St. Christopher’s School earned full
accreditation for grades
one through six. In 1975, St. Christopher’s School became a separate entity
and was relocated and renamed “All
Saint’s Episcopal School.”
From the summer of 1967 to the summer of 1968, there was a clergy exchange between
Fr. Miller and
Fr. Rainsberry of England. Fr. Miller resigned effective January 31, 1969.
Rev. Kenneth Clark and his family
moved to Lubbock in February of 1969. Under his leadership for
the next seven years, the church continued active programs
of expansion and building projects. During
this period, St. Christopher’s made changes in its services that were
consistent with changes taking
place nationwide: the creation of a free-standing altar and the adoption of the New Liturgy.
staff grew to include a headmaster and an assistant priest. Youth and outreach programs also expanded.
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew was started in 1960. This study and service organization continues to
be active today
with weekly breakfasts, men’s fellowship, prayers, and study. This organization has
been a constant source of financial
help with the barbeque and other fund-raising activities. The
organization is now The Brotherhood of St. Christopher’s.
Rev. Ed Abrahamson served St. Christopher’s from 1977 to 1978. He brought several new programs
to the church, including “Faith Alive” and the first Cursillo in the diocese, which took place at the
Conference Center. A new outreach program, the “Summer Neighborhood Recreational
Program,” was started. In
addition, the congregation pledged support to Holy Cross Mission.
Rev. James Haney came to St. Christopher’s in
January of 1979, and he devoted twenty-six years of
service to the members of St. Christopher’s before retiring
in March of 2005. His positive, meaningful
impact upon church members was profound and lasting.
The Visiting Nurse
Services and the Greek Orthodox Church congregation used a portion of St.
Christopher’s property (Harrington Hall)
until that property was sold in 1981. In 1983, the last
outstanding debt for St. Christopher’s building was paid
in full. Outreach programs in many areas
were started in the 1980s, and many continue today. The Adult Day Care Center
remains an important
part of the Lubbock community. Since 1979, St. Christopher’s food pantry program has grown
steadily. In addition to the regular food pantry services, the congregation provides Christmas gifts for
of the food pantry recipients.
St. Christopher’s many fellowship activities included Pascal dinners, religious
programs, Oktoberfest, Christmas teas, and “Newcomers’’ dinners. The annual barbeque,
the 1950s, was a source of fellowship and fund raising for many years. Because of Health Board
and changing life styles, the barbeque was reluctantly discontinued in 2001.
During the 1980s, the youth program continued
to grow, assisted by Associate Rector Rev. Rick Ward.
During this period, many children were active in Sunday school,
camps, musical productions and
The next decade brought several church improvements,
including original stained glass memorial
windows built with contributions by church members.
In 1997, the members of St. Christopher’s
were tested by the embezzlement of more than $60,000 by
the church secretary. This theft was a huge financial blow to
our small church. The congregation,
however, rose to the challenge. Through the commitment of all of the members, the
church was able to
pay the annual DNWT apportionment and to meet the other financial obligations of the church.
buildings are in good condition, and maintenance is done as needed to maintain their
condition, including the recent
replacement of the heating and cooling system in the sanctuary and
undercroft. A Columbarium was added in 2002. Improved
lighting and fans now enhance the beauty
of the Nave. Outreach into the local neighborhood and the West Texas community
projects such as WHAM Camp, Happy Camp, and Promise Camp, and perhaps most meaningful,
significant space in the church building for the Lubbock Adult Day Care Center.
When Fr. Haney retired in 2005, the laity of
the congregation assumed many additional
responsibilities. The Rev. Canon David Veal, the Interim Rector, has encouraged
and sustained the
members of St. Christopher’s during this period.
Although the communicant size has been reduced
through the years, St. Christopher’s has remained
strong in its stewardship, outreach programs and fellowship.
The sense of family is a sustaining force
in St. Christopher’s, and programs such as the Foyer Dinners have helped
to maintain closeness among