In 2004, the Charleston area Episcopal parishes of St. James, All Saints, and St. Luke’s faced financial challenges. On their own, they were unable to call a full-time priest. Joining to share an interim priest, the three congregations began conversations about how to work together. In two years, they worked on a joint budget, struggled with sharing a priest while still worshipping in three locations, as well as working through the Appreciative Inquiry process, to identify shared core values and what gifts each congregation brings to the table.
In 2006, The Church of the Good Shepherd in Kanawha City joined the conversation. At that time, the Bishop challenged us to become one worshipping congregation, with four mission outposts (buildings and people), and to spend two years talking about what God might be calling us to do and be together — or face the possibility that one or all of our churches might need to close. Over and over again God has called the faithful to “Choose Life!” We decided to take a risk and choose new life!
The Epiphany Episcopal Fellowship (EEF) was formed in January 2007, with a governing council made up of all four vestries. We chose one of the senior wardens as Council Facilitator. On March 4, 2007, we held our first joint service, with the Bishop presiding. We had an attendance of 140, a full choir and compliment of acolytes, a joint altar guild, and Christian Education.
For the next several months we experienced each other’s worship space. Rotating the joint services between the four church buildings. In the Fall of 2007, we worked together to choose a name and a site for the newly merged church. From November to December the Bishop presided over closure liturgies for all four churches and on December 30, St. Christopher was born!
St. Christopher Episcopal Church
821 Edgewood Drive, Charleston, West Virginia 25302
Phone: (304) 342-3272 Fax: (304) 342-2382
Listen to the St. Christopher National Back to Church Sunday radio advertisement: