Protestant Episcopal Church.The Episcopal church first arose in England as the result of the reformation movement and became the established church of state. The Episcopal church in America is the direct descendant of the Church of England. It has aimed to be the same in doctrine, discipline and worship as the mother church, and has departed no further than became necessary by the force of circumstances. The American church derived its orders, accepted the liturgy, creeds and articles of religion from the established church of Great Britain, and though of foreign origin is distinctly an American church, having developed a life essentially its own in this country.
It was a part of the English plan of colonization to plant the established church of England in America and the first charter for a colony in America provided that the laws should not "be against the true Christian faith and religion now professed in the Church of England." The colony established under this charter was at Jamestown, and Virginia became the early center of the Episcopal church. By 1720 there were 40 parishes in the colony, and when there was no resident rector in a parish the services were read by a lay reader. Maryland was founded as a palatinate and the Church of England established, but it was not established in New England, outside of Connecticut, until about the beginning of the 18th century.
The separation from England and the establishment of an Episcopal church for the United States started at a meeting of some clergymen at New Brunswick, N. J., in 1784, when resolutions were adopted that the American church should be independent "of all foreign authority, ecclesiastical and civil," owing to the changed conditions in the country. In 1785 the first authorized general convention met at Philadelphia, when thirteen states were represented and "The General Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Protestant Church in America" was completed.
The church had a national growth as the tide of emigration swept westward across the continent, and at the general convention of 1835 the first missionary bishop, Jackson Kemper, was elected. He became the apostle of all the great territory east of the Rocky mountains and labored heroically in establishing the church in the regions between the mountains and the Mississippi river.
Early in the territorial period, missionary work was started in Kansas, services being held by rectors from Weston, Mo., the best known being John McNary and two men by the name of Holmes and Irish. The first regular missionary to Kansas was Hiram Stone, who began services in Leavenworth in Nov., 1856, and on Dec. 10 he organized St. Paul's church. This was the first parish in Kansas, and the following year the first Episcopal church in the state was erected at Leavenworth and consecrated by Bishop Kemper. In July, 1857, Charles M. Calloway conducted the first services for St. Paul's church at Manhattan. The parish was organized in May, 1858, and N. O. Preston became the first rector. Bishop Kemper visited the parish in 1859 and during that year the church building was begun, but was not completed until 1867. It was consecrated on May 13, 1870. At Wyandotte (now Kansas City) the Episcopal church was started in the spring of 1857 by Rodney S. Nash, of Lexington, Mo., who organized St. Paul's Episcopal parish, one of the pioneer parishes of the territory. Mr. Nash went east after the parish was organized and spent the summer gathering funds to erect a church. Charles Calloway also established the pioneer Episcopal church of Douglas county at Lawrence in 1857. In 1858 Trinity parish was organized and a charter secured from the territorial legislature on Feb. 8, 1859. A small building was erected and consecrated in July. What is now known as Trinity church, Atchison, was organized in Oct., 1857, as St. Mary Magdalen's church, with only 5 members, under the leadership of L. R. Staudenmayer. Trinity church was incorporated on Feb. 27, 1860, and the vestry consisted of the organizers of St. Mary Magdalen, with one added member, but no church was built for ten years. In 1857 Charles Calloway began the Episcopal church at Topeka as a mission. In 1860 the parish was organized with 12 communicants under the name of Grace Episcopal parish. St. Andrew's Episcopal church of Fort Scott was partly organized in 1859 by three men, and a year later an organization was perfected under the superintendence of Charles Reynolds, of Lawrence. The first services were held in a government building. After the war J. M. Kedrick took charge of the parish as the first regular rector. The church at Junction City, Geary county, was organized in Dec., 1859, as the parish of St. John, but later became known as the Church of the Covenant. In 1860 a church building was erected, the first in the city, although it was not consecrated until May 10, 1870. During the year 1870, St. Mark's church was established at Emporia, Lyon county, but the name was subsequently changed to St. Andrew's. St. John's parish, of Girard, Crawford county, was organized on March 19, 1870, and the first sermon was preached on April 14 by A. Beattie. In April, 1870, the Episcopal church was established at Salina and the following year a house of worship was erected. On July 26, 1859, Bishop Kemper issued a call for the purpose of organizing the territory of Kansas into a diocese, and the first convention was held at St. Paul's church, Wyandotte, on Aug. 11 and 12. Shortly after the diocese was organized, Bishop Lee, of Iowa, took provisional charge and acted in that capacity for four years. In Dec., 1864, Thomas Hubbard Vail was consecrated bishop of Kansas and visited his new diocese in Jan., 1865.
According to the census of 1875 there were 36 Episcopal organizations in Kansas, with 22 church edifices and a total membership of 1,389. In 1886 the number of buildings had increased to 34 and the membership to 3,594. From this time there has been a gradual increase in both organizations and membership, and in 1906 the Episcopal church ranked ninth of all religious organizations with a membership of 6,459. With the great growth of organizations the state has been divided into two diocesesKansas and Salina. The cathedral city of the former is Topeka and of the latter Salina.Pages 513-514 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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