St. Stephen’s in 1959

Rectors/Priests-in-Charge of St. Stephen’s

The Reverend Frederick P. Davis (1925-2006) –  July 1, 1956-July 1, 1960

The Reverend Elliott L. Sorge (1929-2011) – September 1, 1960 – December 31, 1964

The Reverend Karl F. Reich (1922-2009) – June 1, 1965-August 3, 1969

The Reverend Gary R. Gilbertson – November 1, 1969 – July 30, 1972

The Reverend Donald Sanderson Walch (1932-1986) – September 1, 1972-August 1975

The Reverend James W. Hauan (1930-2002) – January 1, 1976 – January 10, 1981

The Reverend Robert F. Andrews – December 1, 1981 – November 1, 1984

The Reverend Sandra Holmberg – September 16, 1985 – September 1, 2000

Pastor Robert Kaul  – June 1, 2002 – December 7, 2003

The Reverend Elizabeth Powers – December 19, 2004 – August 15, 2008

The Reverend Jamie A. Parsley – October 1, 2008 –

Timeline of St. Stephen’s

March 27, 1956 – St. Stephen’s formed, during a driving snowstorm, when seven lay-persons from Gethsemane Cathedral, Fargo met with Bishop Richard Emery, Dean John Baker and Canon McElligot. The mission was named after St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Casselton, ND, which closed in 1953. (Other names discussed were St. David’s and St. Timothy’s)

Groundbreaking, 1956

September 9, 1956 – first gathering of the congregation with a celebration of Holy Communion at the El Zagel Clubhouse at Broadway and 14th Avenue North.

December 24, 1956 – the first service in the current building.

December 26, 1956 (The Feast of St. Stephen) Dedication of the building by Bishop Richard Emery, at Evening Prayer, to consecrate the building to holy use.

January 1, 1957 – first Annual Meeting of the congregation. 51 communicants, 39 from Gethsemane Cathedral.

March 17, 1957 – 8:00 am Celebration of Holy Communion the first service to be held in newly completed building.

May 2, 1960 – construction of rectory begun.

February 21, 1964 – Bishop Richard Emery is killed a van-train collision in Grand Forks, ND along with Fr. Edwin Bigelow, his wife, Phyllis, their daughter, Pamela, and Sharell Simons, a UND student.

1970 – St. Stephen’s remodeled.

January 22, 1971 – St. Stephen’s achieves Parish status.

January 24, 1971 – The first woman Senior Warden in the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota, Elthea Thacker (1916-2002) is elected at St. Stephen’s. She was also the first woman Lay Reader in the Diocese.

January 31, 1971 – Former Rector Elliott Sorge consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of South-Central Brazil

1972 – Susan Frear becomes the first female acolyte in the Diocese of North Dakota.

December 31, 1973 – St. Stephen’s vandalized.

September, 1985 – The Reverend Sandra Holmberg called as first woman rector in the Diocese of North Dakota.

January 10, 1999- Dedications of the new front addition; Alpha and Omega window from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Lisbon, ND, is added to western wall, where the original entrance to the church as located.

October 14, 2001 – Labyrinth dedicated

2002 – St. Stephen’s becomes the first congregation in the Diocese of North Dakota to be named an Integrity Partner congregation, thus becoming one of the first parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota to fully welcome Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender persons

June 1, 2002 – Pastor Robert Kaul, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is called as Pastor of St. Stephen’s (he also serves Herby Lutheran Church, near Prosper, ND). He served at St. Stephen’s until 2003.

June 19, 2005 – “Tree of Life” stained glass window in the Narthex is dedicated in memory of Fr. James Hauan (1930-2002).

November 19, 2005 – Louie Crew, founder of Integrity, speaks at St. Stephen’s.

Fall, 2008 – St. Stephen’s designated an “Animal Friendly” congregation.

June 3, 2009 – Wednesday night Eucharist begun.

September 13, 2009 – Children’s Chapel dedicated

December 14, 2009 – This Grass, a book of poems by Fr. Jamie and paintings by Gin Templeton, published.

May 9, 2010 – Peace Pole planted and dedicated.

March 12, 2011 – New Altar Rail Dedicated in memory of Albert Parsley (1934-2011)

June 5, 2011 – Stations of the Cross installed and dedicated in memory of Shirley Carbno (1934-2011).

October 2011 – Celebration of Full Communion between the Episcopal and Moravian Churches with Shepherd of the Prairie Moravian Church,

Fall 2011 – Healing Eucharist begun at St. Stephen’s

July 2012 – Ikon of St. Stephen, the congregation’s patron saint, donated and dedicated

Fall 2012 – Undercroft remodeled with new paint, new shades on windows and rearrangement of furniture

November 2012 – New and expanded coated racks installed in narthex

December 2012 – Rose-colored vestments and paraments introduced

February 2013 – Processional torches added on each side of ambo

March 2013 – New doors into nave and Undercroft completed

October 2013 – New round tables in the Undercroft

January 2014 – New bookshelves installed in Office.

May 2014 – Undercroft bathroom remodeled

May 25, 2014 – Memorial Garden dedicated

June 8, 2014 – New baptismal font is consecrated

November 11, 2015 – St. Stephen’s buries the ashes of Adolf Scott, whose urn was found abandoned the previous summer in the memorial garden

December 13, 2015 – St. Stephen’s votes unanimously for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) to ensure full-inclusion of all people at St. Stephen’s; is now allowed to perform same-sex marriage rites (the first in the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota) ; Bishop Carol Gallagher is appointed Bishop for St. Stephen’s

June 12, 2016 – first stained glass window (the Good Samaritan window) in the nave dedicated to the memory of Dr. Leo and Virginia Wilking.

September 11, 2016 – second stained glass window (the Mary and Martha Window) is dedicated to the honor of the pioneers in women’s ministry at St. Stephen’s during 60th anniversary celebration and in memory of long-time parishioner Harriet Blow.

April 2, 2017 – third stained glass window (the St. Aelred/”Integrity” window) is dedicated in honor of St. Stephen’s long and proud LGBTQ ministry, and in memory of all those who died “trying to be their authentic selves.”

September 10, 2017 – Fourth stained glass window, St. Cecilia, installed, dedicated in honor of St. Stephen’s music ministry, and in the honor/memory  of James Henry & Kathleen McCrory Kleinkauf, Marie Kerkeles & Samuel Boyd Phillips and Kenneth Herbert and Flora Jean Rice.   and commemorating  James Mackay, long-time organist of St. Stephen’s.

October 22. 2017 – Fifth stained glass window, St. Stephen, installed, dedicated to the honor of St. Stephen the Martyr, the congregation’s patron saint, and in memory of Maude G. and John J. Syler and Jeannette Syler and Roy P. Peterson.

November 2, 2017 – Black vestments and paraments used for the first time for Annual All Souls Day Requiem Mass

November 2017 – New undercroft windows installed

December 17, 2017 – Sixth stained glass window, Sts. Benedict and Scholastica, blessed and dedicated to honor the congregatation’s ministry of “receiving all as Christ” and to the Benedictine-spirited ministry of the congregation; in memory of Regina Rausch (1890-1976), Dolores Frank (1917-1962), Lucretia A. Orchard (1929-1972) and Paul B. Orchard (1922-2012)


Tree of Life