The beginnings of Saint Andrew
It was many years after the Episcopal Church had been established in the State of Indiana before it made its way into the life of Kokomo. In October of 1885, the Rev. David Buel Knickerbacker D.D., Third Bishop of Indiana, came to Kokomo and held an Episcopal service in the Congregational Church. This small beginning soon resulted in the Mission of St. Andrew’s being organized.
The church flourished and just eight years after its beginning, on March 3rd, 1893, the cornerstone of the church was laid on property at the northeast corner of Taylor and LaFountain (Apperson Way) Streets. The Church was dedicated for the purposes of Christian worship on May 1st, 1893.
FOundationS of COmmunity Service
In 1902 the Rev. and Mrs. Henry Neeley came to St. Andrew’s. Realizing at once that the mission needed a church plant adequate to its needs, Fr. Neeley arranged for the purchase of a church property at 111 North Market Street and proceeded with the erection of a mission house that would be of real service to the congregation, bearing all the financial obligations personally. (A portion of this building is still in use today.) Fr. Neeley continued as Priest of the parish until 1911.
The Rev. John F. Plummer became Priest in Charge in September, 1912 and, under his leadership, the mission grew to parish status and was recognized as such by the Diocese on March 19th, 1922, with Fr. Plummer serving as the first rector. The Rev. Cleon E. Bigler was instituted as the second rector on March 12th, 1923. Under his leadership, the vestry purchased property on West Superior Street and undertook ambitious plans for this new building.
The Church on West Superior
In 1929 the fourth rector, Fr. Jewell, the Vestry, and the congregation proceeded to move the Market Street building across town to the 602 West Superior Street property. The Rev. Gerald Lewis (father of current parishioner, Robert Lewis) succeeded Fr. Jewell in 1938 and served during the difficult times of World War II. In 1948 The Rev. Peter Dennis became the Rector of the parish and almost immediately started planning the new church building to adjoin the old one. Much simpler than the 1925 design, the shell of this structure was completed in 1952.
The Rev. Richard Cooper became the seventh rector of the Parish. Under his leadership the interior of the 1952 structure began to be transformed. The Altar and Chancel area were completed and stained glass windows were placed throughout. The Parish continued to grow under the leadership of Fr. Cooper as well as his successor, the Rev. George M. Davis, who was instituted in October, 1973.
Under Fr. Davis’ leadership, the nave of the 1952 structure was also completed and a Wicks pipe organ installed. The next rector, The Rev. J. Derek Harbin, was instituted in September of 1992 and served at St. Andrew until he was called to be a church planter in North Carolina in the summer of 1999.
Our current Rector, The Rev. Richard B. Lightsey was installed in January of 2001. Today St. Andrew’s is a dynamic congregation which committed to community, discipleship, stewardship, and inclusivity. With thanks to God for those who have gone before, we eagerly look forward to our future as we serve our Lord and the people of Howard County.