A Historical View of
All Saints' Episcopal Church

 

On November 19, 1993 we celebrated the seventy-fifth year of the incorporation of All Saints' Church, but the actual beginning occurred over seventy-seven years ago at a general meeting in Christ Church Parish House, Binghamton, New York on May 25, 1916.  A Layman's League of the Episcopal Church in the Johnson City vicinity was established and an organizational meeting was held in June 29, 1916 in the Odd Fellow's Hall, Johnson City.  A committee of three, including the Rev. Theodore J. Dewees, Rector of Christ Church, wrote a constitution for the Laymen's League to provide services according to the liturgy of the Episcopal Church in a location remote from the parish churches.

Accommodations for church services were obtained in Ash's Hall, Main Street, Johnson City the first Sunday of August 1916.  A group of twenty persons held a service and an organizational meeting for the Episcopal mission in Johnson City. The leader was the Rev. Adrian Hegeman, Rector of Trinity Church, Binghamton.  Services were held every Sunday afternoon with leaders from the Binghamton clergy, the Rev. Ward of Endicott and two lay leaders, Dr. Richard Kempton and Mr. Walter LeBaron.  On October 1, 1916 services were moved to the Endwell Theater.  On November 23, 1916 a Site Committee was appointed to investigate possible locations for a mission chapel.  Three lots on the corner of Main and Second Street, Johnson City were selected and purchased for $3350.  With the consent of the Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Charles T. Olmstead, the Palm Sunday offering of 1917 marked the beginning of the Site and Chapel Fund.  Through the efforts of a nucleus of the original sixteen persons, the majority from Trinity Church, Binghamton, and the Rev. Adrian Hegeman, a canvass of all residents in Johnson City was made in June 1917 to raise the $1000 down payment due July 1 on the lots (the "Whirl Wind Campaign") and to provide funds for the remaining cost of the lots and construction of the building.

The Rev. T. Raymond Jones from San Diego, California was appointed Priest-in-Charge of the churches in Endicott and Johnson in October 1917.  The little mission, named All Saints', had grown to sixty members, and on December 1, 1917 ground was broken for the small chapel on Second Street.  The first service was held in the chapel on January 20, 1918.  The men of the church aided in the construction, and the first service was lighted by candles and lanterns, and heated by a small stove.  After a member lent $200 to the Chapel, them cement floor was covered with wood, the walls plastered and electric lights were installed.  The chairs came from a discontinued motion picture house, and the organ came from ta Masonic organization in Binghamton.

1918 was an important year in the history of All Saints': the first confirmation class was presented to Bishop Olmstead, the Rev. T. Raymond Jones became the first resident Rector, and a new rectory was build for $4750 on Second Street.  On November 19, 1918 All Saints' Church was incorporated.  In January 1920 a parish dinner was held in the Endicott-Johnson Restaurant where $13,000 was pledged by the Episcopalians of the community for the purchase of more land and to build the parish house.  Additional money had to be raised.  The Women's organization, the Parish Aid Society founded in June 1918, held its first Bazaar in November 1920 and raised $1000, enough to pay the cost of the church building plans by New York architect Mr. Goodhue (hired by the Vestry in April 1920).  Ground was broken in August 1922 for a new church ($53,800), and it was completed for dedication on September 23, 1923.  The small chapel was then abandoned.  The second and first mortgages were paid off in 1926 and 1944 respectively.

From All Saints' Church, two additional missions grew into churches in Chenango Bridge and Vestal:  St. Mark's and St. Andrew's.  St. Mark's was begun on May 27, 1951 and services were held in the Civic Center under leadership of lay readers from All Saints' in particular Mr. Blinn Spohn.  The Episcopal mission in Vestal held its first service on February 22, 1954 in the Vestal Veteran's Memorial Association Building on Clayton Avenue, Vestal.  Mr. Kenneth Anderson of All Saints' was appointed lay reader for the Vestal mission, organized by some twenty Vestal residents the month before under the supervision of the Rt. Rev. Walter M. Higley, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Central New York (formerly Rector of All Saints' 1929-1943).  Mr. Anderson, who later would be ordained, became Associate Rector at All Saints' from 1979-1987.

In 1952 a Plan Expansion Committee was appointed by the Vestry to plan an Education Building addition to All Saints'.  The committee consisted of twenty-four members led by the Rev. G. Clayton Melling, with Harold Knapp as chairman.  A Binghamton architect, Walter P. Bowen, drew up the plans, and a campaign to solicit funds was directed by a New York City firm.  Ground-breaking occurred on April 24, 1955, and the building was dedicated on November 21, 1955, at a cost of about $100,000.  Work was begun in August 1967 to complete renovate the present church building and was completed two years later to coincide with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary.

In 2005, Rebuilding All Saintsí for the 21st Century (RAS) capital fund raising project was started and raised an actual $210,211.

In 2007, the failing boilers were replaced with an energy-efficient two boiler system which has helped to keep All Saintsí fuel bills low.

In September 2008, the bellows of the organ deteriorated so much that the refurbishing of the organ was completed.

In summer of 2009, Andersen windows in the Great Hall and Education Wing were installed. A substantial savings in energy cost was been realized as a result of the new windows and new boilers. The new windows are able to be opened in the summer too!

In September 2012, the elevator was completed. The elevator will enable all members to attend events in the Great Hall, kitchen and Education classrooms.

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