History and Timeline
History & timeline:
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was first organized as a mission on December 7, 1958; 15-20 people gathered for services in a small room below a taxidermist’s shop on South Lamar. On December 20, 1959, Bishop Percy Goddard knocked with his pastoral staff to open the doors of the new all-purpose building in the Barton Hills neighborhood (adjacent to the Barton Creek Greenbelt), and the first St. Mark’s confirmation class was presented to him.
1962: On December 23, 1962, Bishop Goddard dedicated a new addition constructed solely by the men of the church. On November 21, 1963, Bishop John E. Hines dedicated a new wing, which included a sacristy, the vicar’s office, and two classrooms. A parish family’s gift of a bell tower was erected, and the bell upon it, donated by another parish family, now hangs in the present steeple.
1963: St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School opened in September, 1963, offering both kindergarten and pre-K classes.
1975: After 17 years as a mission, the congregation voted on November 23, 1975, to petition the Diocesan Council for acceptance as a parish, which was accepted on February 6, 1976.
1978: In November 1978, ground was broken for the present church structure. Bishop Milton Richardson dedicated the new church on October 17, 1979, and St. Mark’s began worshipping in its new space.
2001-2003: A capital campaign was conducted, raising a significant amount of money needed for expansion. Additional improvements to the sanctuary in 2002 were skylights, new doors, a new stucco exterior, and removal of the covering over the front walkway into the church, plus a new altar cross. In April 2003 construction began, and on December 17, 2003, the Bennett Wing was dedicated. A short capital campaign took place in late 2003 to purchase a new organ, which was dedicated in December 2003.
2007: The fourth rector, The Rev. William Bennett, retired.
2008: The Rev. Elizabeth Turner was called to be St. Mark’s fifth rector.
2011: St. Mark’s continues to be a welcoming, growing, and vibrant parish with an active membership of over 500, and an average Sunday attendance of 250-270. The number of children in the congregation, which in 1996 numbered about 10, has grown to just under 200 between the ages of 0 and 18.
Clergy who have served at St. Mark’s:
The Rev. Malcolm P. Riker, First Vicar; The Rev. Kenneth R. Clark, Second Vicar; The Rev. Carl S. Shannon, Jr., Third Vicar; The Rev. Frank Henriques, Priest-in-Charge; The Rev. Robert A. Jackson, Fourth Vicar; The Rev. Thomas H. White, Fifth Vicar; The Rev. Donald Blavier, Jr., Priest-in-Charge; The Rev. Donald R. Raish, Sixth Vicar/First Rector; The Rev. Allan Green, Assistant; The Rev. Arthur J. Bevins, Assistant; The Rev. Neil F. (Scotty) Innes, Second Rector; The Rev. Thomas W. Gray, Third Rector; The Rev. William M. Bennett, Fourth Rector; The Rev. Elizabeth Zarelli Turner, Assistant & Associate; The Rev. Ellzabeth Zarelli Turner, current Rector (2007-present); The Rev. Bert Baetz, Associate Rector (2008-2011), The Rev. Susie Comer, Assistant Rector (2011-June 2012); The Rev. Travis Smith, Curate (July 2012-present).
St. Mark’s Parish is in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.