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Church of the Epiphany History
Established January 6, 1963
(2021-Present) Rector: The Rev. Edward F.P. Gibbons
(2009-2021) Priest-in-Charge: The Rev. Ryan A. Wright
(2003-2008) Rector: The Rev. Dr. Stanley L. Dull
(2003, Jan - July) Rector: The Rev. James G. Bingham
(1978-2002) Rector: The Rev. John M. McGinnis, Jr.
(10/24/1978 Epiphany established as a Parish)
(1976 – 1977) Vicar: The Rev. John M. McGinnis, Jr
(1963- 1975) Vicar: The Rev. Lloyd A. Cox
( 5/ 7/1963 Epiphany established with Mission Status)
A Brief History of Epiphany
written by Jeffrey Jarabek on January 6, 2013
On January 6, 1963 Reverend Lloyd Cox held the first Episcopal Church Service in Cape Coral at the Quirk Arcade on Cape Coral Parkway. Thirty people attended the inaugural service. The following week church services moved to the auditorium a the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Two months later Bishop Hargrave met with Rev. Cox and charter members of the church. The church mission was formally organized. The members selected "Church of the Epiphany" as the name of the church in commemoration of the first service held on the Feast of the Epiphany.
In October 1963 the mission members, with the help of the Diocese of SW Florida, purchased 5 acres of land along Del Prado Blvd at the corner of Everest Parkway. The church campus remains at this location. The first building project was the sanctuary and on
May 10, 1964 the first service was held in the new church.
The second major building project of the mission took place in 1969 with the construction of a separate parish hall next to the church. The major financial contributor towards the hall was was the William Puffer family. The congregation honored the Puffer family by naming the building Puffer Hall. This gathering and meeting center has been reconstructed and continues to this day as our parish hall.
In 1972 Epiphany received the magnificent hand carved "Christus Rex" cross as a memorial gift from the Bielenberg family. The cross continues to hang over the altar. Over the past 25 years Epiphany has been blessed with the gift of numerous stained glass windows throughout the sanctuary and church building. These beautiful works of art were crafted and donated by past member Jim Yeakey.
Epiphany celebrated the tenth anniversary of the church in January 1973 remaining as a mission church. Membership continued to grow. Father Cox remained as Vicar and would serve until his retirement on October 31, 1976.
In November 1976 the Vestry asked Bishop Haynes to issue a call for a new spiritual leader. Reverend John McGinnis, Jr. became the Vicar of Epiphany in 1977. One of his first actions was to apply to the Diocese for parish status of Epiphany. Finally in October of 1978 Epiphany became a Parish after 15 years of serving as a mission and Rev McGinnis became Epiphany's first rector.
During 1986 the parish began its third building expansion. Vestry, with membership approval, authorizes construction of a new church building complex incorporating church and parish hall under one roof. After selling a parcel of land it owned next to the church, funds were available to help finance the construction of the new facility. The old Puffer Hall was removed and rebuilt first. Once the Hall was completed, Sunday services were held in the Hall while construction of the new sanctuary proceeded. Dedication and consecration of the new complex took place 15 months after construction began. The special date in January 1988 coincided with the celebration of Epiphany's 25th anniversary.
Bishop Haynes presided along with Father McGinnis.
Procession to dedicate the new church January 10, 1988:
Choir Loft January 10, 1988
1988 - Twenty-fifth anniversary dinner held in new Parish hall.
December 2001 ended with Father John McGinnis announcing his retirement after 25 years of faithful service at Epiphany. His final service as Rector was on the Feast of the Epiphany in January 2002. Reverend William Magill became our interim priest for 12 months during the search process for a new Rector.
In January 2003 Reverend James Bingham became the third Rector of Epiphany. A tragedy struck the parish on June 8, 2003 when Reverend Bingham died suddenly after serving as Rector for five months. Epiphany was blessed to find its fourth rector when Reverend Dr. Stanley Dull was called to serve in August 2003.
On December 31, 2008 Reverend Dull retired. During the spring of 2009 the Vestry asked Bishop Dabney Smith to call Reverend Ryan Wright as Priest-In-Charge of Epiphany.
Reverend Wright became our Priest-in-Charge on June 2, 2009. The Diocese recommended a joint pastoral ministry with Church of the Epiphany and St John's Episcopal Church on Pine Island.
Events since our 50th anniversary:
In June 2021 Reverend Wright was called to serve at St Mary's Bonita Springs.
The Vestry performed a search for a new priest.
The Reverend Edward F. P. Gibbons came to Epiphany on
August 1, 2021. On March 18, 2022 Reverend Gibbons was elected the fourth Rector of Church of the Epiphany. Reverend Gibbons established Epiphany's first Facebook page and authorized a revised website. The Rite II service is streamed weekly on Facebook.
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