Our History

1962

  • In July of 1962, All Saints Church in Salt Lake City suggests parishioners hold neighborhood social gatherings to become better acquainted. Those who meet at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Dorsey discuss establishing a mission in the south-western part of the valley and agree to invite all the Episcopalians they know—or can locate through a notice in The Eagle Advertiser—to an exploratory meeting.

  • The first service of the South West Episcopal Mission is held on Sunday, October 21, 1962, in a former dry cleaning establishment in a suburban shopping center. Bishop Richard S. Watson Celebrates the family Eucharist. He suggests children accompany their parents and advises all with Prayer Books to bring them. While only 100 are expected, 143 people attend.

1963
  • The congregation is named St. Stephen’s, and receives a Priest-in-Charge.

1964
  • St. Stephen’s purchases a four-acre tract with a house that becomes the vicarage for its first full-time Priest, the Rev. Paul Taylor.

1966
  • St. Stephen’s erects a multi-purpose building.

1986
  • St. Stephen’s breaks ground and completes its church building, the first phase of a $2 million plan that includes the church, a parish hall, a retreat center and a day-care facility. The former worship space is remodeled into a parish hall.

1990’s
  • The interior of the church is revamped and the seating is re-arranged into a semi-circle. The original walk-in baptismal font is filled in and a new font built in the rear of the church. A new quiet-play area for children to be during the service is also created.

2000
  • The parish breaks ground for a new parish hall, meeting room and office space. In addition, the former church/parish hall is converted into Sunday school classrooms. This is made possible through Project Jubilee funding from the Diocese of Utah.

2003
  • A Latino congregation, San Esteban, is established at St. Stephen’s.

  • On the First Sunday of Advent, 2003, the Rev. W. Lee Shaw joins St. Stephen’s as Priest-in-Charge. His previous position had been as Associate Rector at St. James’ Parish, Midvale.

2005
  • In October 2005 the Rev. W. Lee Shaw is formally elected as Rector of St. Stephen’s. His Celebration of New Ministry, Induction and Institution as Rector, is held on December 11, 2005.

  • In Advent, 2005, the Latino congregation at St. Mark’s Cathedral officially moved to St. Stephen’s, creating a combined St. Stephen’s/San Esteban Parish. The Rev. Canon Pablo Ramos assumes the position of Vicar of San Esteban and Assisting Priest of St. Stephen’s. He is also Canon for Latino Ministries for the Diocese of Utah.

2006
  • The Rev. Isabel Gonzalez is ordained a Deacon in June 2006 and serves with San Esteban.

2007
  • The Rev. Isabel Gonzalez is ordained a Priest in February 2007.

  • On September 5, 2007, the Rev. Deacon Dan Herron is received as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish. Fr. Dan becomes the first vocational Deacon to serve at St. Stephen’s.

2012
  • Due to changes in Diocesan structure to be consistent with the wider Episcopal Church, St. Stephen’s is returned to mission status as a Parochial Cure.

  • The Rev. W. Lee Shaw provides his last service on April 22, 2012, and retires as Vicar of St. Stephen’s.

  • On June 9 2012, The Rev. Dr. Matthew Thomas Seddon is ordained at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, in Salt Lake City, as a transitional deacon, and becomes Deacon-in-Charge on June 10 2012.

  • On December 15, 2012, The Rev. Dr. Matthew Thomas Seddon is is ordained a priest, becoming Vicar of St. Stephen’s.

    2014

  • As The Rev. Dr. Matthew Thomas Seddon moves on to a Parish in Texas, we begin a new chapter in the life of St. Stephen’s, Welcoming our new Vicar, The Rev. Mary S. Janda who began her ministry with St. Stephen’s on November 1, 2014

One thought on “Our History

  1. Marjorie S. May

    A couple of notes for your history…
    The baptismal font was filled in as a memorial to The Rev. Walt Ellingson who died suddenly in 1995. Mom and I paid for the memorial, and she and my stepdad tended it until they were no longer able – Al (d.2002) and Dorothy Tobyn Gabardi (d.2003). Mom also ironed the fine linens (“nobody irons them right anymore”) until she was 89. She also donated the grand piano in memory of her sister, Marjorie Tobyn Mackintosh (d.1994).

    I’m glad to see that you’re still thriving!

    Liked by 1 person

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