What began as a small group in 1973 is now one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Alabama with over 1500 communicants. While those early members met in a trailer in the woods, we now enjoy a beautiful, multi-building campus with a recently completed state of the art parish hall, pre-school, and kitchen, with views from our open windows of those same woods. What began with a part time rector will now support, when fully staffed, a full time rector, two associate rectors, and a talented support staff of nine full time positions, five part-time positions, and a pre-school. We are blessed to have strong lay leadership and youth programs who reach out around our Diocese in leadership positions. Our $1,595,000 budget and the gift of our time and talents allow for outreach, growth, and helping our neighbors.
We were led by the Rev. Douglas Carpenter for more than 32 years until his retirement and then by the Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick until his election in 2015 as Bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. In 2016, we called Rev. Mark Forbes to be our new Rector but, sadly for all of us, his health does not allow him to continue in that position. Building on the good work that the three of them have done, we now seek our next Shepherd confident that God will lead that person to us.
We invite you to join with us in this Search. We know that God will continue to use Saint Stephen’s to do good work and that He is leading our next Rector to us. We ask that you pray for our discernment process and for all candidates as they discern God’s call for them. We are excited about the future of Saint Stephen’s as we move forward in faith with the promise of God’s never-failing love.
Rip Britton, Chair
Andrew McDowell, youth representative