St. Andrew's Church, Fort Thomas
A small group of residents of Fort Thomas, interested in the establishment of an Episcopal church, met in the city's municipal builing in 1905. A few months later services were held at the local army post chapel with various ministers officiating. The group became known as the Fort Thomas Episcopal Mission. In 1907 Bishop Burton and the first rector, the Rev. Custis Fletcher, effected a more complex organization. Services were held in a local school house until 1908, when two adjoining lots were purchased by the real estate committee, later to be traded for the two lots on which the church building was erected.
The name St. Andrew's was probably chosen for its Scottish derivation, s Fort Thomas was originally kjbnown as the Highlands, with place names such as Dumfrieds, Highland, Inverness and Rob Roy.
The cornerstone of the handsome church was laid by the Fort Thomas Lodge of Masons on October 30, 1909, and dedicatory services were held the following year. Fifteen years later the debt-free church building was consecrated by Bishop Burton on April 19, 1924.
The church building has a one story narthex containing an arched entrance centered on a story-and-a-half nave treated with a gabled roof of low pitch. A large window dominates the upper part of the main front, whose apex is topped with a stone Celtic cross.
Articles of Incorporation as a parish were signed in 1927, Minutes from vestry meetings for the next several years show the usual struggles of a parish destined to be a strong force in the diocese.
Much credit is owed to the women's organization of that era - the chapel guild and the auxiliary - for their contributions to the building fund. The guild and the auxiliary were combined in 1934 to form the Woman's -Auxiliary of St. Andrew's Church.
The Great Depression of the 1930's bore heavily on St. Andrew's. Despite various fund raisers, the parish had difficulty in meeting its financial obligations during that period of depressed economic conditions, but the rector, the Rev. J. Wilson Hunter, held the parish together and it flourished under his administration.
New organizations came into being, and those already in existence took on new life. The Young People's Service League, the Girls' Friendly Society, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, the Woman's Guild and Woman's Auxiliary were all active. A Boy Scout group was under the charge of the rector. He also began an educational program during Lent and aroused interest in the diocese and national church.
The Rev. Allen Person became rector of St. Andrew's in 1938 and remained for thirty years. During much of this period he was also in charge of St. Stephen's, Latonia, and was instrumental in founding the mission of All Saints' in Cold Spring.
St. Andrew's became more and more involved in the life of the diocese, with members serving on the Standing Committee, the Executive Council, and in top positions in the ECW. Mr. Person was secretary of the diocese, and the Executive Council and was a member of the Standing Committee. He was also secretary of the board of trustees of the University of the South.
The Rev. David Heil was rector of St. Andrew's for nearly twenty years. A dedicated minister, he followed in the tradition set by Mr. Person and was active on the diocesan and national Church affairs in addition to being a hard working rector of a busy parish of some five hundred communicants. He resigned in 1983.
Since 1984 the Rev. Donald Summers, a graduate of the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky, has been recor of St. Andrew's. He came to Fort Thomas from Lexington where he had been rector of St. Raphael's Church. A new education building was recently completed and the interior of the church renovated with transepts added. The parish continues to occupy an important place in the life of the Diocese of Lexington and in the community life of northern Kentucky.
|The Rev. Custis Fletcher||1907-1912|
|The Rev. Arthur Seiter||1912-1915|
|The Rev. Arthur Marshall||1915-1918|
|The Rev. William B. Dern||1919-1929|
|The Rev. J. Wilson Hunter||1930-1938|
|The Rev. Allen Person||1938-1968|
|The Rev. David E. Heil||1968-1983|
|The Rev. Ronald W. Summers||1984-|
This and many other church histories in the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington may be found in Ripe to the Harvest, A History of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, 1895-1995, by Frances Keller Barr.