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Our History

St. Paul’s was established as one of the mission churches of Grace Episcopal Church in Burke County. In 1906, an Episcopal Mission School was opened on land given by Phifer Scott. The Rev. Walter Hughson and Miss Eva Frances Dixon founded the Mission School and held its first service on September 2, 1906. Five months later, twenty-one people from the community were baptized into Christ. The Rev. Malcolm S. Taylor took charge of the mission in 1907 and oversaw the laying of the cornerstone of St. Paul’s Church on April 23, 1907. Subsequently, the Rev. James Joyner came to St. Paul’s as a Deacon where he met and married Miss Dixon. She lived in a mission house on the premises, taught school, gave religious instruction, and began an orphanage in the community. She was a faithful handmaid of the Lord, serving with vigor and dedication for many, many years. Rev. Joyner served as minister-in-charge until his death in 1915. Following Rev. Joyner’s death, clergymen from St. John’s (Marion) and Grace Church (Morganton) ministered among the people of St. Paul’s. Steadfast committed lay people, especially of the White and LaFevers families continued the mission work. In 1951, St. Paul’s, St Mary’s (Quaker Meadows), and St. Stephen’s (Morganton) were officially designated Diocesan Missions. In the early 1950s, St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s became yoked parishes and shared priests. Sunday services were conducted in both churches. Fire destroyed the stone structure of Old St. Paul’s Church on December 31, 1979. As rector, The Rev. Michael Mohn continued to hold Sunday services at the White family cabin on the banks of the Catawba River. After much prayer and two years of hard work, St Paul’s was rebuilt in a new location. Mrs. Martha Greyer donated the land on which the church stands today. St Paul’s has been blessed by the continuous ministry of faithful priests. 1982-1993, The Rev Michael Mohn, the Rev Tom Brereton, and the Rev Scott Oxford served the yoked parishes of St Mary’s and St Paul’s. 1993-2003 our priest was the Rev. John W. Fitzgerald. Later he was appointed Rector Emeritus. Our Parish Hall is named in his honor in 1996. 2004-2005, the Rev. Thomas Rightmyer. 2005-2008, the Rev. Alfred T.K. Zadig. 2009-2015, the Rev. H. James Rains 2015-2020, the Rev. Margaret Dudley Ashby. 2015-2020, Father Jeffrey Mackey, Priest 2021-2022.

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