St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Welcome to St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Established 1869
St Mary's Church

History of St. Mary's


  1869 The Episcopal Church in Waynesville began with two communicants in April 1869, when the Rev. W.T. Helms of Nashville, Tennessee held services for J. Drew Sweet and Mrs. Thomas Brown - two local members of the Church of England.

For several months, Services were held in the McKay's Hall. In 1870 Services were moved to Pugh's Chapel on South Main Street .In the summer of 1870, the small group of parishioners had the courage to buy a lot at the corner of Third and Miami Streets. In August, they witnessed the laying of the cornerstone by the Rev. Mr. Helms. The lot was bought for $300. The plans for the Church were provided by Edwin R. Proctor, a Cincinnati Architect, and $600 was raised toward the Building. A.E. Merritt, a local contractor, was instructed to proceed with the work until the funds were exhausted. For several years the Building was not sufficiently completed to use for Services.
On Easter Sunday in 1875, the Building was opened for Church School.

In the early spring, April 21, 1881, almost eleven years after the laying of its cornerstone, little St. Mary's on the Hill, was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Thomas A. Jagger - to the Glory and Worship of God. Rev. Jagger was the first Bishop of Southern Ohio.

The Rev. John F. Cadwallader was ordained Priest at St. Mary's by Bishop Thomas A. Jagger and he remained Rector of St. Mary's for thirty years. He was one of the main factors in the up building and maintenance of St. Mary's in the community. Under his leadership, St. Mary's became a Parish.
1889 Mr. Cadwallader was appointed Lay Reader.

In Lent, April 13, 1922, Mr. Cadwallader suffered a heart attack and never recovered. He built the Rectory, which was given in his Will to the Parish; also, a 179 acre farm, just north of Waynesville. His lifelong dream was to build a Parish House. Just prior to his death, land adjoining the Church lot was purchased for that purpose.
Mr. John Schaeffer was named Lay Reader. Mr. John Schaeffer was ordained Deacon December 4, 1922, at St. Mary's by the Rt. Rev. Theodore Irving Reece.

The offering went to a memorial Parish House for the late Mr. Cadwallader - $50 in cash and $500 in pledges.

John J. Schaeffer was ordained Priest at Christ Church, Dayton, Ohio, December 28, 1924, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Reece. During his leadership, a new shingle siding was put on the Church. He served St. Mary's for 14 years and because of ill health, resigned in 1936.

R. Lloyd Hackwell came to St. Mary's in the summer of 1938. He was married to Miss Helen Carruthers of Glendale, Ohio. The couple lived in the Rectory.

Tuesday, July 11, the Rt. Rev. Henry W. Hobson ordained the Rev. Mr. R. Lloyd Hackwell to the order of Priesthood.
Under his leadership, St. Mary's made great strides. The development of the Church School was his plan.
A house-to-house canvas throughout the Township and the Rector - making follow-up calls - proved successful in bringing in new members for Church and Church School. The result was an average attendance of 42 children - under the age of 14 - for the day school. They met every Tuesday after school.
He was active in Boy Scout Work. He resigned in 1941 to go to Trinity Church, Hamilton, Ohio.

The Rev. Ralph Parks was appointed Minister-in-Charge of St. Mary's in 1942.

February 18, 1945, the first Sunday in Lent, the Rev. Ralph Parks was advanced to Priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Henry W. Hobson.

In 1948, the Rev. Mr. Parks resigned to become Assistant Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio.

On Sunday, October 10, 1948, the Rev. Samuel Nathan Keys was ordained to the Priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Henry W. Hobson.
During the years of Mr. Keys, as Rector, many new activities were completed. The formation of a new Church and Community Club was formed, known as the St. Mary's Club. He formed a St. Mary's Boys Club, adding vocational training for the youth of the Community.

February 26, 1950, at 3:30 pm (the first Sunday in Lent), a thanksgiving and dedication was held for the new Parish House. This had been a dream since the days of Mr. Cadwallader. The new Parish House more than doubled the inside space of St. Mary's. It included a great Parish Hall, a fully equipped kitchen, full basement, a new heating system and extensive landscaping. The inside of the Church was also given a new look - new organ, pews, lighting and painting.
The Rev. Samuel Keys also formed a Church in Wilmington, Ohio, and served that congregation at an early Service.

On September 15, 1958, the Rev. Samuel Keys accepted a call to St. Simon's Episcopal Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois.

From 1958 until 1966, the formation of the Warren County Shared Ministry was in progress. The Rev. Raymond Gayle followed Mr. Keys and was instrumental in forming the Shared Ministry from St. Dunstans, Mason; St. Patrick's, Lebanon and St. Mary's, Waynesville.
During this period, the Rev. Mr. David Ruhmkorff became Rector when Mr. Gayle resigned.
The Rev. Mr. Lyman Kauffman and the Rev. Mr. James Hart joined the staff. Mr. Kauffman and Mr. Hart were interested in youth and several programs were developed, including the Hollywood Youth Center, Franklin, Ohio; the Fairo Farm Summer Program for children and a Saturday Quest Program.

The Rev. Harold Deeth served the Shared Ministry and endeared himself to both Lebanon and Waynesville. He resigned in 1972.
During the interim, the Rev. Don Farrow, Executive Secretary of the Miami Mental Health Dept. of Montgomery County, served as Priest to St. Mary's.

1973 - 1976, The Rev. Edward Smith was called to the Shared Ministry from Boston, Mass. Mr. Smith lived in St. Mary's Rectory. He was active in the Schools and Community. His untimely death deeply affected the Community and the parishioners.
The Rev. David Allardyce came from Springfield to conduct the Services at St. Mary's.

1977 - 1983 The Rev. Stephen Williams was called to the Shared Ministry in 1977. During his leadership, St. Mary's lost some of its enthusiasm and the Church was not growing. The Vestry decided it was time to break from the Shared Ministry with Lebanon, St. Patrick's. With the permission of Bishop William C. Black, seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, we were allowed to leave the Shared Ministry.

The Rev. Victor Frederiksen from Cincinnati was chosen by St. Mary's Vestry in 1983, with the consent of Bishop Black, to serve as our Rector. He continued serving as Chaplain at the Children's' Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
During his stay, we gained back our interest in making St. Mary's a Church for the Community and to the Glory of God.
St. Mary's Vestry sold the Rectory, since it was no longer used by the Rectors and it needed many repairs. A house in Lebanon, given to St. Mary's by Mrs. Dorothy Frazur, was also sold. The money from these two properties, with the consent of the Diocese, was invested.

The Rev. Victor Frederiksen resigned from St. Mary's in January 1989.

From January until August 1989, the Rev. Wiley Ralph, a retired Priest living in Lebanon, Ohio, served as interim Priest. He was most welcomed and St. Mary's enjoyed having Rev. Ralph with us.

The Rev. Mr. Hugh Whitesell, a retired Priest from Erwin, North Carolina and residing in the Dayton, Ohio area, became our Priest-in-Charge. Mr. Whitesell had served both St. Paul's and St. George's Episcopal Churches, Dayton, Ohio.