History of St. Mary's Episcopal Church
The Early Years (1891 – 1920)
December 1891, seven women discuss forming St. Mary’s Guild, the fourth church established in the newly founded community of Lompoc
January 1892, The Reverend I. R. DeWolfe Cowie celebrates the first Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion at St. Mary’s
1895, Bishop W. F. Nicholls celebrates the opening of a dedicated building, in the New England Chapel style, for the mission of St. Mary’s
1899, St Mary’s Mission becomes part of the new Diocese of Los Angeles St. Mary’s Mission continues, but barely survives, with only visiting priests until 1921

The Boom and Bust Years (1920 – 1940)
In the 1920s industry comes to Lompoc, the town and St. Mary’s flourish
The “Great Depression” hits and the parish wanes; in May 1932, the Diocesan Board of Missions closes St. Mary’s
Although officially closed, services continue on a volunteer basis until 1941

The War and Post-War Years (1940s – 1950s)
By December 1, 1941, the mission building is refurbished, liturgical improvements are made and the mission reopens
Deacon Howard Brummitt is in charge of the mission, and in June 1942, he is ordained into the priesthood, becoming vicar of St Mary’s Mission
The post-war period is another time of growth for Lompoc and St. Mary’s, with the mission having several priests between 1944 and 1955
The Reverend Philip Schuyler comes to St. Mary’s in 1957, but with the personal and community turmoil he created, he leaves in 1963

The “Walnut Grove” Years (1960s – 1980s)
For over thirty years Fr. Arthur Batty serves St. Mary’s as an associate rector; holding services at the prison complex while a new church is built in the “Walnut Grove” on East Central Avenue. The new building is dedicated on October 23, 1960
In 1965, St. Mary’s reaches complete self-support, and is duly admitted as a parish at the 1965 Annual Convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles
In January 1968, The Reverend Stuart Fitch comes to St. Mary’s and remains as its rector until his retirement in June 1989

From Warehouse to “Church on the Hill” Years (1990s - 2006)
In September 1990, the Senior Warden, leads the parish through a most important decision. Commercial development proposes to surround the Church in the “Walnut Grove”; a leap of faith sees the parish decide to build a new church
In February 1992, St Mary’s marks its 100th anniversary, and within a week moves to a new location that becomes known as “The Church in the Warehouse”, as the parish awaits the construction of its new building
The Reverend Scott Richardson leads St. Mary’s during its facility transition and move into its new building in November 1994. In August 1998, after 6 years at St. Mary’s, Fr. Richardson leaves when called by another parish
Beginning in 1998, The Reverend Beverly Factor serves as Interim Pastor, demonstrating that a female priest could successfully lead the parish and its programs
In March of 2000, The Reverend Richard Reynolds comes to St. Mary’s as its new rector, and in January of 2006, Fr. Reynolds retires

The Now Years ( 2006 – Today)
The Reverend Canon Mort Ward becomes the Transition Minister beginning in February of 2006
When his transition duties are fulfilled, Canon Ward moves to his next transition assignment and Bishop Gethin Hughes serves as Interim Priest in Charge
July 2007, Deacon Michael Cunningham comes to St. Mary’s as Priest In Charge, Due to Special Circumstances.
November 2007, Fr. Cunningham is ordained into the priesthood, with the Ordination Celebration conducted at St. Mary’s. Fr. Cunningham continues at St. Mary’s, leading the parish into its future.

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