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All Saints' Episcopal Church

40 Central Avenue  •  Glen Rock  •  New Jersey  07452  •  201-444-6874


History

"Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."  -- The Book of Common Prayer

All Saints' Church, the second church to be founded in Glen Rock, had its beginning in 1913 from twin roots. A small group of persons living near the Rock, with bonds of friendship and ties to the Episcopal Church, met regularly, held informal services and, with the permission of the Diocese, started a Church School in September 1913 at Smith-Singer Hall, just beside the current location of the Glen Rock's Main Line railroad tracks. Robert L. Ware was the first Church School Superintendent and teacher, with an initial class of six young people.

 Meanwhile, the Rev. Philip Pearson of Christ Church, Ridgewood, became interested in starting a Mission here, began working with a group of Glen Rockers, and preached the first sermon to the new group on December 21, 1913.

The new congregation applied for, and was granted, the status of a Mission by Bishop Edwin S. Lines, on February 17th, 1914. Bishop Ware suggested the name All Saints, which was chosen as the most appropriate of several submitted by parishioners. During the first several months, students of the General Theological Seminary in New York served the little Mission on Sundays. In June 1915, the Diocese assigned to the Mission its first resident minister, the Rev. Fredrick J. Buttery, then a Deacon.

The triangular plot on which the present church stands is surrounded by Carlton Place, Central Avenue and Berkeley Place was purchased for $1,200 in March 1917 during Mr. Armstrong's ministry. Construction of the original Sanctuary was started early in 1919. Appropriately, it was on All Saints' Day 1919 that the first major milestone in the history of the young church took place. That was the dedication of the new building under the leadership of Rev. Hugh W. Dickinson.

In 1922, the Reverend John E. Bailey, Assistant Minister of St. James Church, Milwaukee, accepted a call to All Saints' Church on a "six month trial basis". His ministry was to shepherd the Church during its growing years into a full parish status began on September 1, 1922.

All Saints' formally became a Parish on April 9th, 1939. However, it suffered a severe setback a little more than a year later on May 4, 1940 when a fire of undetermined origin caused extensive damage to the east end of the Church and the basement. Some interior re-decoration was required with replacement of the heating plant and plumbing and a completely new kitchen. The nearby Community Church graciously offered the temporary use of its facilities, and 8 o'clock Sunday services were conducted there through November 1940.

By 1956, participation by children in the Church School and by parents in the Family Service had increased to such an extent that the Church and Parish Hall could no longer accommodate the members. Arrangements were made with the Glen Rock's Board of Education to move these services to the Coleman Elementary School and later, when they became available, the facilities of Central School on Maple Avenue nearer the Church were used for this purpose. In the same year, Mr. Bailey brought to an end his long and faithful career as a parish priest. A memorable farewell reception attended by more than three hundred members of the Parish marked the leave-taking of Mr. Bailey who became Rector Emeritus.

Called as his successor was the Rev. Ivan H. Partridge, who came to Glen Rock with his wife the former Jean MacGregor and their son Peter from St. Luke's Church, Montclair, New Jersey where he had served as Curate.

By 1956, plans were beginning to take shape for the erection of a new sanctuary capable of accommodating fully the needs of a Parish that had grown from a half-dozen families to upwards of four hundred communicants. In 1958, All Saints' largest capital improvement fund-raising campaign got under way with the need set at $265,000. The laying of the corner stone of the new Church and Parish Hall took place in December of 1960. Bishop Leland Stark officially opened the Church on October 8, 1961.

The remarkable growth of the Parish through the building years, and into the middle nineteen-sixties was concomitant with the growth of its organizations and with the growth of the Glen Rock area as a bedroom community for New York City. The second half of the nineteen sixties also brought change for All Saints'. Glen Rock experienced a major population change, having its impetus in large migrations of southern farm workers to nearby cities. As Glen Rock changed its predominantly Protestant character, All Saints' experienced changes, as well, including a decline in our once booming attendance.

However, the resolve of All Saints' people and clergy remained strong through the 1970s. The Church continued to provide strong preaching, worship, and excellent music, especially under the leadership of The Rev. Dale L. Cranston, curate and director of music.

In the 1980s, the Parish bid farewell to Father Partridge after his 32 years of able leadership throughout much change in both society and in the Episcopal Church. All Saints' was led through the 1990s by three priests--The Rev. Kim F. Capwell, The Rev. Ashley C. Neal, and The Rev. Victoria Geer McGrath. Each brought about a fruitful era of ministry. During this time, our Preschool Ministry began to flourish, offering a creative and fun setting for children ages six weeks to twelve years to learn, play, grow, and study. Our ministries to Glen Rock continued, and the parish experienced remarkable lay leadership during several interim periods between priests.

In 2003, The Reverend Gray Lesesne became the Fifth Rector of All Saints' Church. Working with the lay leadership of the parish, Father Lesesne and the Vestry have set a bold new course for All Saints'--to be a place where such a radical welcome is offered, that our members and newcomers grow in our relationships with God and with each other.

After Father Lesesne left in 2008 for a calling to urban ministry in the Midwest, All Saints' was led by the Reverend Lynne Grifo as Interim Rector. Also the associate coordinator in the Office of Ministry Development of the Episcopal Church, Pastor Lynne helped All Saints' explore spirituality and the Christian faith while the parish prepared for the calling of a new rector.

In 2010, The Reverend Timothy H. Burger was called to become the Rector of All Saints' Church.  Father Tim was received by the congregation with great zeal and installed by the Rt. Reverend Mark Beckwith.  A strong believer of lay leadership, Fr. Tim empowered leaders in the congregation to take ownership of ministiries, while providing pastoral support from behind.  Fr. Tim and his familiy relocated to Massachussets in August 2015.

In September 2015, The Reverend Mark R. Collins became All Saints' Interim Rector.  In early 2017, after careful examination of the candidates submitted by the Search Committee, earnest prayers, and careful discernment, the Vestry decided to call Fr. Mark to be All Saints' Rector.  Fr. Mark was instituted as All Saints' Seventh Rector by The Right Reverend Mark Beckwith on April 29, 2017.  Fr. Mark will be leading All Saints' to seek and serve God, loving our neighbors as ourselves.  All Saints' is excited and blessed to enter into a new phase of ministry with Fr. Mark.

We invite you to become a part of our history as we grow together!


Clergy of All Saints'

1913-1915
The Rev. Phillip C. Pearson
Priest-in-Charge

1913-1915
The Rev. Edwin R. Noel
Curate

1915-1916
The Rev. Frederick J. Buttery
Deacon-in-Charge

1916-1919
The Rev. Charles S. Armstrong
Priest-in-Charge

1919-1921
The Rev. Hugh W. Dickinson
Vicar

1922-1956
The Rev. John E. Bailey
Rector

1956-1988
The Rev. Ivan H. Partridge
Rector

1964-1966
The Rev. N. Robbins Winslow
Curate

1966-1968
The Rev. Frederick C. Fox
Curate

1972-1989
The Rev. Dale L. Cranston
Curate

1988-1990
The Rev. Jonathan L. King
Interim Rector

1990-1991
The Rev. Kim F. Capwell
Rector

1992-1999
The Rev. Ashley C. Neal
Rector

1999-2002
The Rev. Victoria Geer McGrath
Interim Rector

2003-2008
The Rev. William G. "Gray" Lesesne, Jr.
Rector

2008-2009
The Rev. Lynne Grifo
Interim Rector

2010-2015
The Rev. Timothy H. Burger
Rector

2015-2017
The Rev. Mark Collins
Interim Rector

2017-Present
The Rev. Mark Collins
Rector

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