History of St. Stephen’s

Our History

Around the end of 1963, Rev. Ronald W. Spangenberg, curate at Christ Church in L.R. began building a case for and Episcopal Church presence in Jacksonville.

He appealed to the vicar and vestry at Christ Church and eventually to the Rt. Rev. Robert R. Brown, Bishop of Arkansas to pursue the possibility of holding services in Jacksonville.

July 4, 1964, the Ecclesiastical Authority gave his consent to the formation of an Organized Mission and appointed the Rev. Ronald W. Spangenberg, Curate of Christ Church, as minister to perfect the same.

The first service was held in Jacksonville, on February 8, 1964. The services were held in the chapel of Jacksonville Funeral Home (that building currently houses the Air Force Museum).

Because of attendance and growth of these services, the vestry of Christ Church sponsored a resolution to the ninety-third convention of the Diocese of Arkansas in 1965 to develop an Episcopal Mission in Jacksonville.

On Easter Day, 1965, there were 100 people in attendance with 18 people being baptized and 12 presented for confirmation.

Later that year a building site of 4.14 acres was purchased along the Freeway on T.P. White Drive and a building plan was developed.

In March of 1966 a ground-breaking ceremony was held on the property by Arch Deacon Gordon Swope and construction was under way.

September 11, 1966, Bishop Brown dedicated and blessed the building on T.P. White Drive.

In June 16, 1966 Hollis Williams was appointed Vicar of St. Stephen’s and was ordained at St. Stephen’s in April 1967.

The first service in that new building was held on July 31, 1966

Construction of the building in which St. Stephen’s is currently housed (2314 N. Eastern Ave, Jacksonville) was completed in 1991. The first service in the currently location was held on Christmas Eve, 1991.

Clergy Serving St. Stephen’s
1964-1966 Rev. Ronald Spangenberg, Priest
1966-1970 Rev. Hollis Williams, Priest
1971-1977 Rev. Gary McConnell , Priest
1977-1979 Rev. James “Hap” Horton, Priest
1980-1982 Rev. Charles Chatham, Priest
1983-1985 Rev. Cham Cannon, Priest
1987-1992 Rev. Chris Hardman, Priest
1995-1999 Rev. Kenneth Martin, Priest
1999-2002 Rev. Ira “Pat” Seymour, Priest
2001-2006 Rev. Bruce Limozaine, Deacon
2006-2013 Rev. Bruce Limozaine, Priest
2006-2017 Rev. Richard Robertson, Deacon
2006-present Rev. Jim Dalton, Priest
2006-present Rev. Joyce Dalton, Deacon
2016-present Rev. Toby Rowe, Priest