History of St. Maryís

 Columbia Episcopalians who attended church at St. Johnís in Brazoria decided that there was a need for an Episcopal church in West Columbia.  After several meetings in their homes, a petition was prepared and submitted to the Diocese to form St. Maryís Mission.  The petition was approved by Bishop Quinn and the group began meeting on Wednesday nights in a local school auditorium while continuing to attend church on Sundays in Brazoria.  Those early Wednesday evening meetings were normally covered dish suppers followed by a speaker often supplied from the Brotherhood of St. Andrews of St. Marks in Houston.

The church property was purchased and services were then held in a small frame house on the property, but this small building was not adequate for the groups needs.  Soon, with the initial financial assistance of Kitty Nash Groce and then the hard work and financial support of the members, the church Sanctuary was built in 1953.  Shortly thereafter the Parish Hall and classroom facilities were erected.  The congregation worked enthusiastically and soon the facilities were furnished.  Several significant renovations to the facilities have been done since those early days.  These included revisions to the altar and the woodwork wall behind the altar, addition of the stained glass windows and the completion of the Chapel and waiting room near the Sanctuary entrance.  A Rectory was purchased and later sold.

A senior seminary student, John Donovan, traveled to West Columbia each weekend to conduct those first services.  He was followed by Fr. Phil Leech, Fr. Ed Sterling, Fr. Charles Norfleet, Fr. Charles Roberts, Fr. Jim Morgan, Fr. Larry Walters, and most recently, Fr. Peter M. Conaty.