Our Beginnings

Saint Paul’s began as a small group of Episcopalians creating a community, supporting each other, and worshiping God in the new city of Waco Texas. From 1863-1868 Saint Paul’s parishioners gathered in homes or rented the Odd Fellows Hall so that they could form a community and worship together. In 1868, the first Bishop of Texas, The Rt. Rev. Alexander Gregg, visited the community and officially organized them as “The Parish of St. Paul’s.” The new parish of about 50 people created a building fund, elected their first Rector, and began building a small and temporary worship space on the corner of Fourth Street and Webster. As the parish grew, Saint Paul’s moved into the building on Columbus and Sixth – the same building we still meet in today. The church we use today has changed – a longer nave, new rooms to meet in, and a school to name just a few renovations – but the history of the church is still present. Beautiful stained glass windows, original hardwood floors, and the somewhat pieced together footprint of the building all point to Saint Paul’s rich history.

Our Story

Saint Paul’s has long been a staple of the Waco Community. Centrally located as a downtown church, we have been a part of the action since the beginning. Saint Paul’s served soldiers stationed in Camp McArthur and Rich Field during World War I with dances, parties, marriages, and services. When James Connelly Airbase and Fort Hood were built at the beginning of World War II, Saint Paul’s again did what they could to serve soldiers stationed there. During the 1953 tornado that tore through downtown, Saint Paul’s offered their building as a relief center. For many years, Saint Paul’s has partnered with Mission Waco to serve a free Thanksgiving meal for anyone who would like to come. Parishioners have worked hard in the past 159 years to make Saint Paul’s a beautiful and thriving place of worship for Episcopalians in Waco. Our rich history is riddled with the evidence of the love parishioners have for Saint Paul’s as well as the love Saint Paul’s has for Waco.

Our Future

While a lot has changed over Saint Paul’s long history, we are still at our core a community of people coming together to support one another and worship God. Our parishioners continue to support each other and our church, and our church continues to support Waco. As we reflect on our past, we are excited for what the future holds. Saint Paul’s is a historic and beautiful community that uses its past to drive forward into a faithful future.

*This history of Saint Paul’s is shared with deep gratitude to Randy Schormann whose research and ministry brought light to our past.

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