The history of St. Christopher is rich in tradition and fellowship, with various leaders over the years and
campus changes. Our parish has been blessed with an involved congregation and community that
continues to thrive in ministry and outreach.
On January 10th, 1955, some twenty people, headed by the Rev. David McBride, rector of Holy Trinity Church, Dickinson, met at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Ed Breslin to organize an Episcopal mission in League City. St. Christopher Mission was recognized by Bishop Quin at the Diocesan Council meeting in Houston, January 1955. Soon after a confirmation class was held at Holy Trinity, Dickinson where several members of St. Christopher were confirmed.
The first services of the Mission were held in the League City Coffee Shop, located on Highway 3 and FM518. The Rev. Mr. McBride continued to divide his time between Holy Trinity and St. Christopher. The Rev. Lionel T. DeForest served the congregation May through November, 1955. At the same time, 10 and ½ acres on Kemah Cut Off Road (present site of the church) was purchased for $1,000 an acre and the original meeting building was purchased from the Coffee Shop and moved onto the property. The first confirmation was held on August 29, 1955.
In November 1955, The Rev. Mark A. Boesser and his family arrived as the first new vicar and resident clergyman. During those early years some of the activities the congregation pursued included: an Acolyte Development program, a church school, a teenage club, junior choir, a gun club, Little League Team sponsors, bake sales, silver teas, and barbecues. A junior posse, the St. Christopher Saddelite, participated in horse shows and local parades.
Ground was broken for the new church, May 10th, 1956 and the first service was held in the new brick building Thanksgiving of that same year. That original building now serves as the administrative wing of our facilities. In December, 1959 Rev. Boesser accepted a call to Juneau, Alaska and St. Christopher Mission with a total membership of 279 and without a rector was brought to Parish Status.
In the 1960s, the Rev. James C. Buckner arrived along with many newcomers from the NASA Boom. Over the years, several astronauts have been members of our congregation. In July, 1964 ground was broken for the new church building and the first services were held Thanksgiving of that year. We continue to worship in that space today.
During the 70s, St. Christopher was led by several rectors and a new concept of faith was introduced to the congregation through the Faith Alive Weekend. St. Christopher members also participated in morning and evening prayer groups and family week-end retreats were held at Camp Allen and Laity Lodge.
1980's and 1990's
Our next long-term rector, The Rev. Walter L. Ellis accepted the call to St. Christopher in the summer of 1982. Rev. Ellis and his family had been members of the St. Christopher congregation prior to him entering seminary.
The 1983 hurricane Alicia moved along a much needed building program. This included a new Christian Education wing, a library, an Activity Center with a large kitchen, a chapel, the nursery wing, and renovations to the Narthex and Administrative wing.
In the 1980s and 90s several new ministries and programs were started including the Bethel Bible Series, the Stephen Ministry, Small Group Ministries, and our Mother’s Day Out program. In addition, St. Christopher was among the founding churches for the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Education and the Interfaith Caring Ministries.
In March of 2001, Rev. Ellis accepted a call to Ascension Church in Houston and St. Christopher was led by Interim Rector, Father Jim Smalley. In July 2002, The Rev. Dr. Tom Day, arrived. Some of the new ministries included: the Discovery Series, Growth Groups, Mission Trips, and an Annual Community BBQ & Auction. Father Tom was also instrumental in adding a new Contemporary Worship service to our Sunday morning schedule. This service has been a tremendous success in reaching the young people in our community.
During the next 13 years, spatial uses were modified to reflect the Parish’s desire for internal and external growth including:
the Library became a “Living Room” for small classes and meeting space,
the Chapel transformed to our Welcome Center where a light breakfast is served after Rite I and before Rite II worship times and which functions as a hospitality center for gatherings, and
the Activity Center became Buckner Hall where Sunday Contemporary Worship Services are held, as well as where holy in-gatherings, community events, receptions, and meetings occur.
A “Restore and Refresh” parish spaces and facilities campaign was launched which included:
upgrades and expansion of Buckner Hall,
renovation of the Choir Loft,
installation of a 1940s Schantz Pipe Organ, and
Administration Wing flat roof replacement and foundation repair.
December 2014 Storm. During the initial phase of the flat roof replacement, extensive storm-water flooding occurred. The Administration Wing was structurally compromised, the existing phone system destroyed, and furnishings and files were either damaged or in imminent danger; therefore all salvageable furnishings and files were relocated within the Facility.
Following inspections, engineering reports assessments, and the insurance carrier response, the Vestry (in corporation with the Diocese) appointed a Restoration Committee to undertake steps necessary to identify, evaluate and implement possible alternatives.
The current configuration of the Administration Wing, re-occupied on October 14, 2015, is the result of those efforts.
In October, the Parish prioritized their ministerial and pastoral preferences and characteristics via a formal survey conducted and collated by the Diocesan Office of Transitional Ministry. Based on the responses of 115 participants, St. Christopher formed a Search Committee to seek a new Rector to guide and shepherd this Parish.
In July, our current rector Brian W. Cannaday, accepted the call to serve as the 7th rector of St. Christopher, beginning a new season of life and ministry in the church. Fr. Brian and his family moved from the Diocese of West Texas, and St. Christopher began its new partnership with him on August 1, 2016.
Fr. Brian is pastorally present and available (spiritually and physically), and engaged in the life of the Parish. As Rector, he is fostering the spirit of this Parish Community which is held together by an abiding love for Christ, respect for each other and a sense of joyful community in worship, mission, ministry and celebration.
Over the years, a spiritual character has developed at St. Christopher that expresses itself in a living community of faith travelers. There has been a core membership which has been the thread that runs from the past to the present. Many individuals and families have come for awhile and then moved on as their careers have led them. However, everyone who has come has been welcomed by the current members and offered a place in the life and ministry of the parish. Visitors and newcomers discover a welcoming church that has enjoyed expressing its faith in the midst of physical and spiritual growth.