A Brief History of St. Stephen’s

The idea of locating an Episcopal Church in the growing eastern edge of Schenectady began in the early 1900’s when the rector of St. George’s, The Reverend Dr. Taylor, had a survey taken of the area. World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic delayed action until November 18, 1928 when St. George’s Church and The Reverend George Bambach sponsored St. George’s Chapel in a vacant store on upper Union Street. The first service was held on November 18, 1928.

As attendance grew a Victorian house on the corner of The Plaza and Baker Avenue was purchased in 1943 The Reverend Tom Moss was named Vicar and in June `1947 the chapel was incorporated as the separate parish of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the cornerstone was laid.

By 1949 a new Church had been built and a few years later a Parish Hall with Sunday School classrooms was added. The Victorian house was torn down and a new rectory was built. In 1969 Bishop Allen Brown consecrated the church after all debts were paid and the mortgage was burned.

The need for remodeling and some rearrangement were recognized, particularly to accommodate the handicapped for a Senior Meal Program. A new organ and improved acoustics were part of the completed fund raising project.

In December 1982 parishoners rejoiced when a member, Patricia Jones, was ordained as a Deacon by Bishop Wilbur Hogg. After completing her studies, her ministry outside the parish included serving the women in the County jail.

Since 2000 the need for renovation led a committee to assess needs and visits to other churches where there had been remodeling completed. Our Vestry contracted with John G. Waite Associates of Albany, NY to design a new Parish Hall. In 2008 after accepting the design a contract with Allegrone Construction Co. of Pittsfield, MA was signed and a new Parish Hall was completed. This was funded through a generous bequest.

Throughout our 90 plus years, we have been served by five Rectors, three assistants, and our beloved Deacon. In June 2022, the Rev. James Ross McDonald retired after a tenure of more than 30 years. Since then, the parish has been served by The Rev. Sallie Heiligman and The Rev. Marshall Vang, as supply priests. In July 2023 by The Rev. Jane Brady-Close joined us as interim priest-in-charge.

Activities and Groups

We have a host of different offerings for everyone at St. Stephens. Visit Ministry to see all we have to offer.

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