St. Patrick’s began as a mission church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in January 1967, with its first service being held at a school. At a vestry retreat shortly thereafter, the commitment was made to initiate a program of giving 10% of the church’s income to outreach missions annually. This commitment, made by a very young church, was just the beginning of St. Patrick’s emphasis on missions and outreach.
In January 1971, ground was broken for the first building on a five-acre plot and by October the congregation was able to worship in the newly completed sanctuary, which is our current Parish Hall. That spring, the Rev. P. Roberts Bailey became Vicar and soon began a healing ministry. Over the next few years, the parish began to explore the outward work of the Holy Spirit through the charismatic renewal movement. Spiritual renewal soon followed, and proved to be a firm foundation for the next priest.
The search for a priest who would continue to energize the congregation in spirit-led worship resulted in the call of the Rev. Gray Temple, Jr. Fr. Temple arrived January 1, 1975 with his wife, Jean, and his son, Charles. Days later he became Rector when the Diocese awarded parish status to St. Patrick’s.
The congregation grew through the integration of a praise and worship style of music in the service, as the Rector continued to lead with prophetic, thought-provoking teaching and preaching. By the late 1970’s, St. Patrick’s had grown to 700.
In 1979, the Capital Stewardship Drive provided funding for church buildings and expansion. Ground breaking took place in 1983. The centerpiece of the new sanctuary, the eight-foot bronze Christus Rex sculpture, was commissioned and built. Christ is wearing vestments and is on the move. His form, inspired by essays from members of their own engagement with Jesus, is seen against the background of a cross from which He is freed. Consecration of our current Nave and building took place in December 1984.
By the 1990’s the ministries of the parish were enhanced with Foyers, Home Groups and other small groups. Malachi’s Storehouse, one of the new ministries, opened the doors to the community by offering emergency groceries to all who came.
In the summer of 1993, the Parish began to explore how it might strengthen its welcome to gays and lesbians. Slowly at first, but with growing confidence, many parishioners were led by the Spirit to understand more fully God’s inclusiveness. While this shift was difficult for many, the parish continued to thrive during these years. The congregation gave generously during this period, completing three oversubscribed capital fund campaigns. Meanwhile, the parish began to explore and encourage the contemplative life as a complement to its charismatic worship.
Fr. Temple retired on January 28, 2006 after thirty-one years at St. Patrick’s, having directed and assisted parishioners’ spiritual walk through love and persistent pastoral care.
The parish called The Rev. David Stringer as Rector in 2007, and he served for 18 months. The parish then called The Rev. P. Richard Game as Priest-in-Charge in May 2010, and he was installed as Rector in March 2011. Fr. Dick brought with him a love of Jesus and the Episcopal Church, along with 17 years of experience from his first calling as a commercial trial lawyer. Fr. Dick is married to Anne, whom he met in college, and father to three adult daughters: Hope, Allison and Caroline.
The Parish has continued to thrive through his leadership, and particularly his nurture and development of effective and inspired Vestry, Staff and Ministry Teams. Fr. Dick is leading St. Patrick’s forward, honoring our tradition of mission and ministry, inclusiveness, lively worship and music, as well as contemplative prayer. Recent years have seen the dramatic growth of Malachi’s Storehouse, which each week welcomes 150 people into our nave and parish hall for a warm meal, free groceries and welcome with dignity. Malachi’s has become “Church on Wednesday” at St. Patrick’s.
St. Patrick’s strives to follow Jesus as we welcome, love, nurture and feed all God’s children. Our current vision is to take the gospel outside of our doors and into our neighborhoods, “Partnering with God’s great love, stepping out as creators of justice and joy.”