Our Present and our Past
ALL SAINTS’ TODAY
Today’s All Saints’ is a product of our people and our deeply rooted history. Using the 1928 Prayer Book for our worship enhances the reverence that is important to all of us. During services, the liturgy is carried out carefully and thoughtfully; adult and children’s choirs perform at the highest standard.
Indeed, our history serves to ground us — but not to restrain us. We are a congregation with diverse thoughts and an acknowledgment and acceptance of those varied opinions. We feel united when we’re at prayer, and this transcends all of our differences.
All Saints’ is a dynamic, flourishing parish, where new additions are a regular occurrence. The 240 members range in age from one to 100. The average attendance at weekly Sunday services is 125. The church is an active member of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
As we consider ourselves servants of the community, our congregation is deeply engaged in ministry. Our main focus is The Oak Street Episcopal Mission, a cooperative project of the three Episcopal Churches in Thomasville, Georgia.
Our church was established on November l, 1980, when a group of 43 men and women met to form a new Episcopal congregation in Thomasville. So named because their initial meeting happened on All Saints’ Day, the congregation sought to preserve the traditional doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Anglican Communion, as set forth in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Only one month later, All Saints’ was admitted as an organized mission of the Diocese of Georgia, and The Reverend James William Law of Anchorage, Ky., was called to be the church’s first vicar, later rector. Under Law’s leadership, the congregation was admitted as a parish at the Diocese’s annual convention in February 1983.
Once organized, All Saints’ conducted services in the chapel at Thomas County Community College, now Thomas University. Soon thereafter, the congregation acquired an abandoned Catholic church from Thomasville Landmarks, Inc. The building was turned over to All Saints’ with the stipulation that it be moved to a new location and restored as faithfully as possible to its original 1881 appearance.
In January 1981, the century-old church was moved to historic South Hansell Street in the Tockwotton district, a Victorian neighborhood in downtown Thomasville. Restoration and renovation began almost immediately.
The first service in the restored church was held exactly two years after the first organizational meeting of the congregation. The cornerstone was laid by the Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, the Right Reverend Paul Reeves. Eventually, All Saints’ added a meditation garden and a brick-walled memorial garden. Both were consecrated in January 2001.
Father Law served the parish as rector until 1988, when he was succeeded by The Rev. Frederick A. Buechner, who served our parish for over 24 years.
The church celebrated a new ministry in 2012, when The Rev. Paul B. Hancock became our third rector. It is with Father Paul’s vision, teaching, and care that we move forward, celebrating our faith tradition at the same time as we embrace our future together as Christians.