St. Mary's Fayette

St. Mary's Episcopal Church

104 West Davis
P. O. Box 57
Fayette, Missouri 65248-0057
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Sunday Worship: 10:00 AM

A member congregation of the
Northeast Episcopal Regional Ministry

St. Mary’s is located just west of the courthouse square in Fayette on the south side of Davis Street, across the street from the First Baptist Church.
St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Fayette is the second oldest Episcopal Church in the Diocese of West Missouri. Bishop Jackson Kemper founded it in 1836. St. Mary's built its building in 1848, and added the Bishop's Hall in 1960. Originally the church was on the corner Church and Davis streets, but was moved one lot west in 1920. St. Mary's is a small, warm congregation that worships traditionally according to the Book of Common Prayer. All are welcome.

"The history of the Anglican Church in Fayette, Missouri dates to the first visit by the newly installed Bishop Jackson Kemper, Bishop of Indiana and Missouri. When he visited this town in 1836 he found a number of people who professed the faith. After this, services were held at intervals either in the courthouse or in other buildings around the square for the next several years whenever a minister was available. In 1847, a recently ordained Deacon, the Reverend John C. Dunn was assigned to Fayette on a permanent basis, and he immediately began planning a permanent church building.The site chosen was the northwest corner of the city square, the original location of the church.

The contract for the construction of St. Mary's Church was awarded in December, 1848. The lot upon which it was construction, as well as the entire city of Fayette, was part of the land awarded the victims of the New Madrid , Missouri earthquake (1811) under "An Act for the Relief of the Late County of New Madrid in Missouri Territory Who Suffered by Earthquake", passed by Congress on February 17, 1815.

Lumber for the construction of St. Mary's was floated down the Ohio River from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi, to the Missouri River and up the Missouri to Boonville, Missouri, south of Fayette. From there, it was carted across the solid ice of the Missouri River and on to Fayette. The church was consecrated in 1850 by Bishop Hawkes who had succeeded Bishop Kemper.

In the years preceding the Civil War, missionary priests from St. Mary's went out to serve Episcopal congregations in the surrounding area. Towns where this influence was felt include Columbia, Fulton, Glasgow and Huntsville, all in Missouri.

Soon after the Civil War, two young communicants of St. Mary's made decisions to become ministers of the Church. Abiel Leonard, Jr. and Ethelbert Talbot, after meeting the requirements of the Episcopal Church, were ordained as priests. Both later became Bishops, Bishop Leonard serving as Bishop of Nevada, Utah and Western Colorado, and Bishop Talbot as Bishop of Wyoming and, ultimately, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

In 1920 the church was in financial trouble and was forced to sell its lot to the Standard Oil Company with the understanding that the church building be moved to a new location. The parish moved the building 75' west of the original property and added an adjoining lot to provide more space. At the time of the move, a partial basement was dug and electricity was added to the building for the first time. In 1965, the small parish house was added as a wing to the original building. The church stands today as the oldest church building in the town and the county and the second oldest Episcopal church structure west of the Mississippi to survive to the present day." - National Register Nomination Form