150 Years: A summary 1864 – 2014

Diocese of Ohio – November 2014
Courtesy Resolution
R-4: Congratulate St. Paul’s Church, Put-in-Bay on Its Sesquicentennial

As adopted by the 198th Annual Convention

Whereas, On November 4th, 1864, St. Paul’s Episcopal church became a parish of the Diocese of Ohio by an act of the General Convention, 2014 marks the anniversary of its founding and commemorates 150 years of continuous ministry and mission in the Village of Put-in-Bay and the Bass Islands; and

Whereas, St. Paul’s Church has offered a generous welcome to all Christians, inviting visitors and residents of all traditions to worship together, initially as the only church in the community and later as the only protestant church; and

Whereas, St. Paul’s Church, the first congregation and church on the Bass Islands, began in the summer of 1864 with the arrival of newly ordained Deacon J. Mills Kendrick. The parish requested and was admitted to parish status in November 1864. The congregation raised funds for the church building the winter of 1864-1865; and

Whereas, through the efforts and desires of the island’s residents and the generosity of Jay Cooke of Philadelphia, owner of Gibraltar Island, the parishioners supervised the construction project, building the church on the corner of Lakeview and Catawba Avenue between May and October of 1865, and holding the first church service on October 4th 1865 with Jay Cooke, Salmon Chase and over 100 island residents in attendance; and

Whereas, the congregation established a flourishing church school under the supervision of Mrs. Anna McMeens from 1865 to 1897 and the legacy of education continues to provide opportunities for Christian Growth; and

Whereas, St. Paul’s Church was not removed from the work of the church but was immersed in the discussions of prayerbook revision of 1868-1872, the doors remained open, following the traditions of the Episcopal Church through a path that led the church to become a Congregational Church and then a Reformed Episcopal Church, returning to the Episcopal church and the Diocese of Ohio in 1912 at the encouragement of Phillip Vroman, Senior Warden, and Laura Cooke Barney; and

Whereas, Laura Cooke Barney gave the stained glass window by Francis Drake Sweeney, above the altar reminding parishioners of Jesus’ call to follow and be fishers of all people, honoring her mother in 1902 and she gave the church property to the Episcopal Church in 1912, after inheriting it from her father; and

Whereas, St. Paul’s Church was the gathering place for Wa-Li-Ro Choirs, founded by Bishop of Ohio, Warren Lincoln Rodgers and often led by Leo Sowerby, musical Pulitzer Prize recipient from 1933 to 1974; and
Whereas, St. Paul’s current rectory, is known as “The Hartman House” in thanks for the significant contribution of Marylib Vroman Hartman, built in 1959-1963 to ensure island clergy had a comfortable home; and

Whereas, Throughout the year November 2014 to October 2015 St. Paul’s Church will honor, through a variety of events and activities, its founders and saints who came before; express appreciation to present and former parish membership, clergy, and friends who have continued to strengthen its parish community; strive to leave a lasting testament of faith and thanksgiving for future generations; and also celebrate its heritage of worship and service to Jesus Christ through the Eucharist, prayer, personal involvement in parish life and care for others in the community,

Whereas, St. Paul’s has worked diligently to fulfill its mission: “to welcome all people, encourage Christian growth, and proclaim the Gospel by word and deed;” and

Resolved, That this 198th Annual Council of the Diocese of Ohio joins the congregation of St. Paul’s, Put-in-Bay in expressing its profound thanks to God for the lives and service of the founders of St. Paul’s Church and its congratulations and best wishes to the parish as it celebrates its sesquicentennial year, and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the parish.