FOUNDED IN 1924
Paul's Episcopal Church was founded on December 20, 1924, in the home of Mrs.
J.H. Shepherd. Under the leadership of the Rev. Joseph R. Walker, A. A. Rich,
Dr. John Stark, E. D. Hanson, W. W. Manning , and E.A. Smith, members of several
old Foley families, including the Holks, Heltons, Bollers, Stockes, Holmes, and
Callaways came together to worship and to serve the Lord in the Episcopal
tradition. Legend has it that Mr. John Burton Foley gave Saint Paul's its
name, after the New Hampshire boarding school his children attended. After four
years of meeting in the Masonic Lodge, the Odd Fellows' Hall, and the Ag
Building at Foley High School, Saint Paul's was gifted two lots on the corner
of Pine St. and Orchid Ave. by Mr. John Burton Foley and his Magnolia Land
Company in order to build a church.
CHAPEL BUILT IN 1928
original nave, which still stands on our property, was built in 1928.
Parishioners sold raffle tickets, homemade Easter baskets and even a couple of
quilts in order to raise the funds to build the church. Even so, money was
tight, and the bricks, fired in Bon Secour, were of such poor quality, that
many thought they simply would not hold up. The building was nearly destroyed
by a tornado in 1947, but thanks to strong support and many repairs over the
years, it remains in use to this day. In 1940, a rectory was built next-door to
house the Rev. and Mrs. Clyde Jardine. An addition, which brought it to the
size you see today was built in 1956. It now serves as the Parish office.
OUR CHURCH TODAY
Foley grew, so too did Saint Paul's and in 1990 the cornerstone of the new
Church was laid. This brick-clad, neo-gothic space tripled the seating of the
original church, and thanks be to God, is pushed to its limits every Sunday at
10 a.m. The last building to be added was a Sunday School building, now called
"The Mission House", built in 2005. This two story building serves as
our Parish nursery and Youth Group space. It also houses nearly 1,000 heads in
beds a year as we support Habitat for Humanity construction groups and Family
Promise of Baldwin County.
LEADERSHIP PAST AND PRESENT
Paul's has seen its fair share of priests over the years. It was during the
sustained leadership of a few of those priests that our congregation has seen
its greatest growth: including our current rector, The Rev. Dr. Brent Norris,
The Rev. Keith Talbert (2000-2020), The Ven. J.D. Wilson (1943-1957), The Rev.
Stan Persons (1959-1969), The Rev. Coleman Inge (1986-1995), and the Rev.
Charles Holcomb (1979-1985).
While clergy leadership has been important, Saint Paul's would not exist without the strong support and faith of our lay leaders. Over the past 90 years, many of the biggest names in Foley have taken their place of leadership in our parish providing countless hours serving God and His church in ministry. Including: the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) giving away thousands of dollars each year to outreach organizations in Baldwin County, encouraging Christian discipleship through Cursillo, Sunday School, the Episcopal Young Churchman (EYC/Youth Group), and Ecumenical Vacation Bible Schools; supporting outreach ministries like Ecumenical Ministries, the World Council of Churches, the Sheriff's Ranch, Wilmer Hall Children's Home, St. Anna's Indian Mission (Poarch, AL), Episcopal Relief and Development, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, and an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship with Foley elementary school (which we "adopted" in 2009), our ongoing mission work in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and continued support for Gulf areas devastated by hurricanes.