History of St. Augustine Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
After much prayer by two declining northwest Oklahoma City congregations, St. George’s Parish and St. Matthias’ Mission, an agreement was made to unite together as a new mission on October 25, 1980. At the time of the merger, there were approximately 100 households, representing about 250 members.
St. Augustine of Canterbury was the name chosen from a list proposed by the combined congregations. On November 7, 1980, the Diocesan Convention formally approved the merger; thus forming our new Mission, with Father Herod as Vicar.
Services were held at the St. George’s location until both properties could be sold. On February 13, 1981, St. Augustine was officially incorporated as a new mission in the Diocese of Oklahoma. On September 11, 1983, St. Augustine of Canterbury petitioned the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma to become a Parish, and parish status was granted on October 20, 1983, at the Diocesan Convention.
The St. Matthias property was sold in October of 1981 and the proceeds placed into a building fund. In late June of 1984, the St. George’s property on Center Street finally sold and a quick move was made into a rented warehouse space on Memorial Road. With the help of the whole parish painting, hammering, and unboxing, the warehouse became a true place of worship for the next twenty months. Although not a prime location for a new church, the church continued to grow at a very steady rate. During the time at the warehouse, the land was purchased, and plans were made to build a new church facility. The ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Palm Sunday, 1985 for the new building. Although the new facility was not complete, the first service at the present location was held on Thanksgiving Day 1985. Two years after moving into the warehouse, Easter Sunday, March 30, 1986, St. Augustine officially began its mission in its new location on North May Avenue, Oklahoma City. The Dedication and Consecration Services were held on Sunday, May 4, 1986. We are proud to be an Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City!
Today the church is vibrant and growing. In the summer of 2010, the church called a new Vicar, The Rev. Joseph C. Alsay, to serve as our spiritual leader. Father Alsay began his tenure on July 1, 2010. His first sermon literally included fireworks from the pulpit and the excitement has not stopped since--be it dogs, cats, turtles, or other critters coming up the aisle to be blessed at a service in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, or the camels coming up the aisle on Epiphany. The fun and surprises have not stopped. We look forward to continued growth in both size and spirituality.