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History
 
   
 
 

St Thomas was founded as a mission in 1958 and began holding services in Stott Hall on the Franklin College campus in downtown Franklin. In 1959, we rented space in the former Redmen’s Lodge in Franklin and remained there for the next ten years. In 1969, we moved to our present location in Whiteland where we had just finished a beautiful new building -- constructed, of course, of Indiana limestone! In 1983, the north wing of the present structure was completed, adding another 3,000 square feet for a larger parish hall. We were admitted as a parish in 1997. 

Situated on five acres, we have much room for expansion as Johnson County continues to grow. We have developed a picnic shelter with tables, a playground and a basketball court for the community as well as ourselves. In 2002, we created a labyrinth for us and the community. 

 
 
Our clergy: 
priests-in-charge

01        Paul Moore                                          (NOV 1958-MAY 1959)

The Very Revd Paul Moore was Dean of Christ Church Cathedral and was appointed by Bishop Richard Kirchhoffer as the first priest-in-charge of our brand-new mission on 24 November 1958. Dean Moore was later to become Bishop of New York and is now retired.

02        Robert William Stringer                         (MAY 1959-MAY 1961)

Soon thereafter, the Revd Robert Stringer was sent to us as deacon-in-charge and was soon ordained a priest at the former Redmen’s Lodge in Franklin. He also served as chaplain at the Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin.

03        Chester G. Minton                                (SEP 1961-MAY 1968)

Fr Minton was a very spiritual man as well as a determined one. He inspired his small flock to the point that the congregation was as determined as he that St Thomas build a church building. He died before ground was broken and the building erected, but his inspiration lived on and our church was built.

04        William Lee Casady                              (JUN 1968-APR 1969)

Fr Casady kept us going during the middle stages of construction of our new building and organized the ground-breaking ceremony on 03 August 1968. On Christmas Eve of that same year he and some parishioners went to the building site and, standing on a concrete slab surrounded by building materials and partially constructed walls, led us in prayers and Christmas carols.

05        Rodney Jarchow                                    (JUN 1969-APR 1972)

On 27 July 1969, soon after Fr Jarchow’s arrival, the first liturgy was celebrated in our new building. On 28 December 1969, the building was formally dedicated by Bishop John Craine, assisted by our Senior Warden, George Goshorn.

06        John Harrison Eastwood                         (APR 1972-NOV 1973)

Fr Eastwood divided his time between St Thomas and St Timothy’s, Southport. Being newly ordained, he gained much needed experience in the nature of parish life – especially since the people were mostly long-time Episcopalians.

07        Overton Sacksteder                                      (APR-SEP 1974)

Fr Sacksteder was Diocesan Missioner under Canon Fred Williams and served St Thomas one day a week.

08        Richard Allen Halladay                                 (SEP 1975-1986)

Fr Halladay held a variety of secular and church-related positions as St Thomas continued to grow and prosper. After eleven years, the mission was able to call him as its first full-time priest in 1986. During his tenure, he oversaw the expansion of our facilities, including our current parish hall, and gave St Thomas twenty-two years of faithful service.

 
vicar

01        Richard Allen Halladay                                  (1986-SEP 1997)

Canon Halladay accepted an appointment as Canon to the Ordinary to Bishop Catherine Waynick in September 1997 -- one month before St Thomas achieved parish status at the Diocesan Convention in October. He was later to become the Diocesan Deployment Officer.

 

rectors

  William Casady (interim)                       (SEP 1997-MAR 1998)

Fr Casady returned to St Thomas a second time as priest-in-charge for six months. We had supply clergy for nearly a year while the Vestry concluded its search for our first rector.

 

01        Lisa Kraske Cressman                            (FEB 1999-MAY 2002)

Dr Cressman was called as our first rector in November 1998, arrived in February of the following year and served for three years and three months. After the birth of her first child, she decided she needed to be at home to rear her family.

James Byron David Corbett (interim)      (AUG 2002-JUL 2003)

Having had a lengthy rectorate in the Diocese of Los Angeles, Fr Corbett received training as an Interim Ministry Specialist in 1998 and serves in that capacity in various parishes in various dioceses for nine to twelve month assignments. St Thomas is his fourth assignment in this capacity.

02        David Raymond Ferner                        (AUG 2003-Present)
 
 deacons

Alice Gill Goshorn                                     (JUN 1997-Present)

A layperson at St Thomas for the previous nineteen years, she was ordained to the deaconate in 1997 by Bishop Waynick. In the parish, she performs the traditional diaconal liturgical role and makes known the needs of Johnson County as well as the wider community to the church, and specifically to the people of St. Thomas. She also has oversight and facilitation of Evangelism, Outreach, and Lay Eucharist Ministers. At the Diocese, she has staffed the Lay Leadership Development Program and currently serves on the Commission on Ministry. In the community, she helped found the Partnership for a Healthier Johnson County which partnered with St. Thomas to begin the St. Thomas Medical Clinic. She served on their advisory board and currently chairs the Access to Care Action Team, thereby being able to be part of a large network of other agencies, organizations, and persons who are responding to unmet needs of Johnson County residents -- from United Way to township trustees. She has served as a court-appointed advocate for children since 1994.

Samuel Mudido Kimbowa                           (JUN 1996-Present)

Originally resident in the [Anglican] Church of Uganda, he was ordained to the deaconate in 1996 by Bishop Jones for the Bishop of Kampala. He was subsequently transferred to the Diocese of Indianapolis. In the parish, he performs the traditional diaconal liturgical role and makes known the needs of the wider community to the people of St. Thomas. In the community, he holds a forty-plus hour a week secular job and has recently begin course work at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.

 
           
           
Last updated: March 31, 2004  
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