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HISTORY

The Beginning
Bringing the light of Christ to Sulphur Springs since 1978

St. Philip’s began as a missionary station in the Missionary District of Northern Texas in 1864.
 

In 1872, the Rev. John Portnee visited Sulphur Springs, and though he was unable to remain for a Sunday to conduct services, he saw a future for the Episcopal Church in the area.

 

In November of that year, the Right Reverend Alexander Gregg, first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, accompanied by the Reverend Francis R. Starr and Edwin A. Wagner visited Sulphur Springs and made arrangements for baptisms, confirmations, and for future services to be conducted by Father Starr.

 

This is considered by some as the beginning of St. Philip’s church in Sulphur Springs.

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The Right Reverend Alexander Charles Garrett, the missionary bishop of Northern Texas, described in his diary a visit to Sulphur Springs in the spring of 1875. He wrote that the area was rich and lovely with good roads, except through Sulphur Bottoms, where his mules sank to their knees every step for miles. The next day he visited all the church families. Colonel Hoskins obtained the use of the Presbyterian church for a night service. It was a large unfinished building, well-filled but so dimly lighted that the congregation could neither see, nor be seen. At that time, there were 1,200 people living in Sulphur Springs and eleven communicants in the Episcopal Church. In 1878, the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas officially made St. Philip’s a mission parish of the mission of the church.

In 1887, a lot of land was given for the building of a church by, C.M. Houston and his wife Nancy, “To promote interest in Christianity.” The trustees of the church–CB. Stephenson, J.K. Milam and S.L. Gilbert–accepted the land for the church and later conveyed it to Bishop Garrett. The Episcopal church in Sulphur Springs was built at 400 Houston Street at North Davis Street, around 1895. Colonel Stephenson and his daughter, Mrs. P.T. Tucker, were instrumental in the building of the church.

The original structure was 53 feet in length and 21 feet in width, with a vaulted ceiling, described as its most attractive feature. The entrance on the south side opened into a vestibule. There were three clear glass windows on the south, three on the north side and two on the west. One chimney and a cross over the entrance and another cross on the roof completed the building.

1901 to 1950 
Bringing the light of Christ to Sulphur Springs since 1978

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Between 1901 to 1950, the building was added onto until May 1991, when the Reverend Hugh Majors was vicar and land was purchased to re-plant the church in its current location on College Street. The building is a mixture of modern convenience and traditional church style.

 

All of the stained glass windows and the woodwork, including liturgical furnishings from the old church were moved to the new building. The older church building was secularized into a historical building in Heritage Park.

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