History of St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Remember the days of old, consider the years long past.
- Deuteronomy 32:7
The first Episcopalians to settle
in Davidson arrived in the late 19th century. Twenty-one hearty souls
petitioned Bishop Theodore B. Lyman in 1890 requesting permission to begin an
Episcopal Mission. But it was not until 1955 that permission was granted to
build an Episcopal Church in Davidson. Why the 65-year delay? Much had to do
with the strong Presbyterian roots in Davidson and the desire to keep the
“Tory-tainted” Episcopalians out. Following World War II, priests from
neighboring towns held services on campus for the townspeople and Episcopal
students, and shortly before Christmas 1955, St. Alban’s was established as a
mission church. The first regular service was held on February 6, 1956.
Groundbreaking for a new chapel took place on November 8, 1956. The cornerstone was laid on our 53-seat Lorimer Street chapel on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1957, sixty-seven years from the date of the original petition. For the next 37 years, worship at St. Alban’s was led by a succession of priests serving on a part-time basis. Everything changed in 1993 when the Vestry of St. Alban’s decided to use the mission church’s “saved resources” to call a full-time priest – truly a step of faith for what was then a small congregation.
As a “Venture of Faith”, The Reverend Gary Steber was called and arrived in 1994, breathing new life into St. Alban’s. The church grew twofold in 1995, had tripled in 1996, qualified for “parish” status in 1997, and added an Associate Rector, The Rev. Rachel Haynes. Having outgrown its space, the last service at St. Alban’s Chapel was held on August 16, 1998. The weekly family service and Sunday School was moved to Calvary Presbyterian Church on South Street.
As a second “Venture of Faith” of even greater magnitude, the congregation decided in 1999 to build a new church. The groundbreaking for the new St. Alban’s church building on Caldwell Lane took place on May 21, 2000, and the joyous consecration followed in October 2001. Our current building houses the sanctuary, a bell tower, offices, Sunday School and Preschool classrooms, a playground and plenty of parking.