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  • Phone: (972) 221-3531
  • Email: 
  • Physical Address: 602 North Old Orchard Lane, Lewisville, TX 75077

 

 

History

The history of our church

can be compared to the parable of the mustard seed as we grew from very humble beginnings to our present church family and buildings.

In the early 1960's Lewisville was a small town serving a wide rural area but without an Episcopal Church. Episcopalians were traveling several miles north to Denton or south to Farmer's Branch. Two of our founding members, William Touchstone and Jack Anderson, were were searching for a “ middle of the road ” Episcopal Church.

They, their families and friends decided to ask permission from Bishop C. A. Mason, renowned for his missionary zeal, to found a mission church in Lake Dallas, their home town. Their wish was granted on March 24, 1961, which was eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, giving rise to the church’s name.

This small congregation was led by the Missionary Curate, the Rev. James Frensley in a small community building on Main Street, Lake Dallas. Soon they felt the need for a building of their own so another charter member, Don Anderson, donated a small house on Hundley Drive which provided for all their needs; the largest room was converted into a worship space and the remaining rooms became a meeting room, classroom, office etc. A pump organ was loaned to them which was played by a young girl, Kathy Sloane, who is still a member of our church. The congregation had 20 regular worshipers and two Confirmation services were held with Bishop Mason.

The first step towards realizing the dream of a permanent church building was the generous gift of funds from Mrs. Lilian Harper which were used to the purchase 3 acres on Main Street near Valley Parkway. In 1963 this nomadic mission congregation was worshiping in a tem- porary building with the Rev. Louis Levinson as Priest-in-Charge. After five years of stability a period of change ensued. Fr. Levinson was replaced by a series of Vicars of the mission.

Also a trade of properties involved another move to our present location on Old Orchard Lane where a permanent structure was finally built and dedicated in August 1970.

Today this is the Parish Hall which is used for church functions, classes and during the week provides classrooms for the Montessori Episcopal School (MES).

In 1972 an education building was completed which is used during the week by the MES and on Sunday by the Children's Sunday School. Constant change continued for this young congregation and there continued to be multiple clergy serving Annunciation for the next couple of years.

In July 1974 a new era began with the appointment of the Rev. Livingston Merchant whose enthusiastic and vibrant leadership led to The Church of the Annunciation being accepted as a parish by the diocese of Dallas. Fr. Merchant served for five years and the search committee eagerly searched for a new priest who would be a new leader.

The Rev. Karl Choate served as Priest-in-Charge and in Advent of 1977 the Rev. Richard G. Copeland was inducted as our second Rector. Fr. Copeland attracted many new members who desired a different style of service than the older members, creating tension within the congregation.

In April of 1983, the Rev. William Blewett was chosen as the third rector of this parish. In addition, the parish was able to hire as Curate the Rev. Lon Pearson who established popular youth programs. Once again Annunciation was stable and growing. Fr. Blewett, the Vestry and congregation began planning for a larger, church building at the same location.

Ambitious plans were accepted, a mortgage was granted by the diocese and a builder contracted to do the work. The faithful flock finally had a sanctuary of grace and beauty and the inaugural service was held on Easter Day, 1989. Unfortunately, the cost of the building and the need for repairs stretched the monetary resources of the church causing some new divisions in the congregation. Fr. Blewett retired as rector, the church building was claimed by the diocese, and the church, with a dwindling congregation, reverted to mission status.

During the next 15 months Annunciation was without a permanent rector but was ably served by supply priests. The Rev. Charles R. Carlisle added stability by serving for the last six months of this period.

Once again, the search committee eagerly sought who God was calling and the Rev. Canon David W. Holland was appointed Vicar of Annunciation by Bishop Donis D. Patterson in July 1990. Under his leadership, Annunciation was able to return to parish status in 1996. He had a vision for the parish, introduced new programs and encouraged members to make newcomers welcome. During his tenure Fr. Holland raised up lay leaders who were actively involved in growing and supporting ministries such as Austin Street Shelter, NavajoLand, adult inquirers class, Alpha, an enriched Christian Education program, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Daughters of the King, pastoral care for those in need, youth missions for all ages, adult mission work and outreach into the community.

Montessori Episcopal School, which is located next to the church, also began to grow.  Founded in 1969, the school was a small program, which eventually became an accreditied institution in 2010, and continues to be a blessing to children ages 6 weeks through Kindergarten.

In 2004, the church was blessed with the addition of a pipe organ. With the congregation's focus on music, the acoustics in the sanctuary, and excellent musical leaders, our church became a place where many musical groups performed for the public and for the congregation.  We continue to be hosts to the Lewisville Civic Chorale and the New Collection Jazz Ensemble.

The Rev. David Holland retired in May 2011, a search committee was formed, and a consultant contracted to help determine our needs, desires, and mission. During this time the Rev. Canon Courtland Moore served as priest-in-charge and the parish continued to thrive.

In December 2013, the Rev. Catherine Thomson answered the call to become our rector, and the next chapter of life of The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation began.

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