St. Paul's Episcopal Church Established 1950
The Reverend William Meade Brown, First Rector, performed the blessing of the groundbreaking of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in 1950.
This church building is the culmination of a master plan which began in 1950. The original construction was to start a Parish House (pictured) and a classroom wing. The Parish Hall was to be used for services until the church could be built.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church was founded by a small group of visionaries who were parishioners, at that time, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. They were seeking to establish a "family church" in the fast, growing, southeast section of Shreveport, Louisiana. After canvassing Shreveport's Broadmoor area and petitioning Bishop Girault Jones for mission status, St. Paul's Mission was formed. The Reverend William Meade Brown was called to be the first Rector, and Stanton Dossett, a member of the mission council, was named first Senior Warden.
An Evening Prayer service was held at the old Centenary College music building on Pentecost Sunday in 1950 with 125 people in attendance. The mission met for a year at the Centenary Playhouse. The fledgling church soon acquired a 7-acre tract of land near the corner of Southfield Road and Youree Drive, and construction began on the first phase of a total church plant on December 15, 1950. In October of 1951, the church facility was dedicated, and in January 1952, St. Paul's gained parish status with approximately 50 families on the rolls. Services were conducted in what is now the Parish Hall.
Within eight years the phenomenal growth of this parish led to the construction of the current main church. On Pentecost, 1961, the ground was broken for the present building. William S. Evans, St. Paul's member and Architect, designed the structure. The first service was held in this building in September 1962. On Pentecost, 1971, the mortgage was burned, and the building was consecrated by the Right Reverend Iveson B. Noland. This beautiful structure is capable of seating over 700 worshippers. Stained glass windows, the S. E. Florsheim Memorial Parlor, Charles W. Burkett Memorial Garden, W. Miller Bush Nursery Wing, St. Paul's Day School and other significant improvements were added over the years. In 2015, a new copper roof was added.
Stained Glass Window of St. Paul located in the east transept.
Following the retirement of The Reverend William Meade Brown in August 1969, The Reverend James Clinton Buckner served as Rector from October 1969 until April 1979. The Reverend James Dillard Ellisor served as the Assistant Rector for nineteen years from August 1974 until his retirement December 31, 1993. His tenure included two interim rector terms.
The Reverend David Jay Greer became the third Rector in August 1980 and served until October 1989. On September 30, 1990, The Reverend Geoffrey Whitman Chapman was named the fourth Rector of St. Paul's. The Reverend H. Knute Jacobson served as Interim Rector from October 1995 until August 1996 when St. Paul's called our fifth Rector, The Reverend Guido Fridolin Verbeck, III. On May 4, 2012, St. Paul's welcomed their sixth and current Rector, The Reverend Paul Dexter Martin.
Nave of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
New Copper Roof was added in 2015
In 2015, a new copper roof was added to the main church, parlor, and parish hall. Through a generous donation from a St. Paul's family, the church purchased the property next door which was formerly owned by the Masonic Lodge and will renovate the existing building for a new Youth Lodge at St. Paul's. This project will be completed in 2017.
Drawing of the new Youth Lodge
Firmly grounded in faith and focused in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Family of St. Paul's looks forward to the years ahead in growing in continued faithful service and expanding ministries to the world.
Rectors of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
The Reverend Paul Dexter Martin (2012 - present)
The Reverend Guido Fridolin Verbeck III (1996 - 2011)
The Reverend Geoffrey Whitman Chapman (1990 - 1995)
The Reverend David Jay Greer (1979 - 1989)
The Reverend James Clinton Buckner (1970 -1979)
The Reverend William Meade Brown (1950 - 1969)