The History of St. Martin’s 1952-2002

September 7, 1952 St. Martin’s was founded by the Rev. J. Thomas Bagby. One hundred twenty-five people attended the first service at the house on Post Oak Road (pictured at left).
January, 1953 Accepted as a self-supporting Parish with 263 communicants.
1954 Four acres of land on Sage Road were purchased and the first Church building was constructed. This building is now Founders’ Hall. The ground-breaking of the first “Bagby Parish Hall,” which became our new Church home in 1954, is pictured at left.
1959 Large expansion completed with new Chapel, parlor, offices and classrooms. New sanctuary was ready for Easter Sunday services March 29. The sanctuary, now referred to as the “Old Church,” is pictured at left.
September 7, 1962 10th Anniversary, St. Martin’s had grown to 2,791 baptized members.
September 7, 1977 25th Anniversary, dedication of the Wayside Chapel for All People.
1983 The Rev. Dr. J. Thomas Bagby retired at the age of 72.
August 28, 1983 The Rev. Claude E. Payne became the second Rector.
In 1984, “The Vision Awaits Its Time” capital campaign was conducted. Major expansion took place, adding our Education Building, Library and Choir Hall.
1986 St. Martin’s Activity Center was opened.
1993 The Rev. Claude E. Payne was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
1994 The Rev. Laurence A. Gipson, then Dean of the Cathedral of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, became the third Rector.
By the 1990s, St. Martin’s had become one of the largest Episcopal Churches.
1997 “Building to Bless Forward in Faith” capital campaign for construction of a new Church, Parish Hall, Cloister and playground.
September 8, 2002 Celebration of St. Martin’s first 50 years. St. Martin’s has over 7,000 members.


The History of St. Martin’s – Recent

February 8, 2004 The Parade of Pipes; 750 parishioners helped carry 4,555 organ pipes into the sanctuary.
April 11, 2004 Regular worship in the New Church (now renamed The Church) begins with Easter services.
June 22, 2006 Rev. Laurence A. Gipson, D.D. announces his retirement.
April 29, 2007 The new Cloister Garden is dedicated.
May 8, 2007 Rector search committee calls the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. as our new Rector.
June 24, 2007 The new Garden of the Holy Cross – Riverway is consecrated and dedicated.
2007 St. Martin’s acquires a 15th century museum-quality Altarpiece, a triptych depicting the life of St. Martin. It resides in the east wing of The Church, in what has been named the Patron’s Chapel.
August 26, 2007 the Inaugural Liturgy of the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., fourth Rector.
January 4-8, 2008 The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr. George L. Carey, 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, visits St. Martin’s. On January 6, St. Martin’s instituted its fourth Rector, the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. (pictured at left).
Spring, 2008 St. Martin’s acquires three acres east of campus and begins master planning process for its use.
May 10, 2008 Then Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly confirmed 100 adults and youth in the largest class in his entire episcopate.
November 22, 2008 The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle was ordained bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Texas, here at St. Martin’s. Click here to see our “behind the scenes” efforts.
April 5, 2009 Family Table and 6ten worship services move to the Old Church.
Spring, 2010 Launch of $25 million “Building for Life” capital campaign, to expand and renovate the Church’s facilities, ministries and operations.
April 10, 2011 “Building for Life” Ceremonial Groundbreaking for our new buildings: The Island / The Scout Center, and The Hope and Healing Center.
January 29, 2012 Unveiling of the new Welcoming Christ tympanum.
Spring, 2012 St. Martin’s acquires the 5005 Woodway property.
With nearly 8,600 members, St. Martin’s holds its place as the largest Episcopal Church in North America.