Matthew 11:28

From Beginning to 4400 Wyoming

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In August 1978, St. James was founded by Mr. James King, who had recently moved to Kansas City from Denver, CO. Mr. King had been an active member of St. Mary’s Anglican Catholic Church in Denver and wrote to Bishop Mote requesting permission to begin an Anglo Catholic mission. The following ad appeared in the Kansas City Star: “Interested in forming an Anglican Catholic Parish, Call Jim King.” Mr. King was formerly a member of St. Francis Episcopal, Stanley, Ks. Prior to this period, from 1974 to 1976, he was an active member of St. Mary's Episcopal in Denver where he was truly taught the Catholic Faith by Fr. James O. Mote. Durning this time he developed a serious love for catholicism. When St. Mary's Church left the Episcopal Church, he also wanted to make a simular move. He saw a segment on 60 Minutes on television and he wanted to know about the secession, and what he needed to do to follow his example. He travelled to Denver and met with Fr. Mote. He indicated to Mr.King that the Kansas City church would belong to the Diocese of the Holy Trinity, and that St. Francis Church(our sister church in Fort Scott, Ks) Fr. Ginista would provide the Sacrament. Mr. James and Madelyn McNeley, at the behest of Fr. Ginista (due to his ill health and subsequent death) came to Kansas City to give us a leg up on what we needed to know in forming our parish. Our relationship continued with St. Francis throughout these many years. St. James participated in the Ordination of Mr. James McNeley to the Diaconate, and also to the Priesthood. When St. James urgently needed a Rector, Fr. McNeley assumed the position, attached his St. Francis members to St. James but continued to serve both communities. He became a circuit rider in order serve both communities.

Six families responded to the ad and within a few weeks King had transformed his garage into a chapel with twelve people and a dog present. They read Morning Prayer faithfully every Sunday.

In September 1977 an ad appeared in the Kansas City Times asking those in interested in preserving the traditions of the Episcopal Church to come to St. Louis. The Rev. Mr. Krehemkar responded to the ad and was referred to Mr. King. He met with Mr. King and the vestry and they discussed the possibility of him becoming a part of the young mission. Fr Krehemkar traveled with the members of the mission to Fort Scott, Kansas to attend the growing congregation of St. Francis Anglican church that met at a Lutheran Church under the leadership under the Rev. Dwayne Genista. Arrangements were made with Fr. Genista to supply the Eucharist to Rev. Mr. Krehemkar for a deacons mass. St. Francis, Fort Scott played a crucial role in supporting St. James during this time. For the young mission in KC, who had been unable to have communion, it was a joyful visit. Fr. Krehemkar tended his resignation to the Diocese of West Missouri and began his new duties as vicar of St. James. Applications were sent to Bishop Doren of the diocese of the Midwest and to Bishop Mote of Holy Trinity as there was doubt as to which diocese we belonged. Bishop Mote assured the congregation that they would be in his diocese and sent Dean Falk to visit in January 1980. The congregation moved from Jim King’s basement to the vicar’s home and held their first Christmas Eve service, a congregation of 100, at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Lenexa, Kansas. The congregation then moved to one of its member’s vacant house until objections were submitted to the local town. So they moved to the Prairie Village Community Center which had excellent facilities, including a janitor’s service and an area for coffee following the service. It resembled a church setting and required member’s efforts to set up and take down. The congregation continued there until the next Christmas Eve.

Membership grew with an active lay readers program under the leadership of Cam Thomas and later, the Rev. Robert Porter. St. James had three acolytes and the beginning of a very active altar guild. On Christmas Eve day, 28 parishioners arrived to help set up for the service and to place greens and poinsettias on the altar. The candlelight service drew about 110 people. The organist was surprised with a new “used” organ with a full pedal board. For the first time at St. James, a choir of four sang with enthusiasm and attempted anthems not previously in their repertoire.

Upon Bishop Motes acceptance of Deacon Krehemkar’s credentials and examination by Dean Falk as examining chaplain, Deacon Krehemkar’s ordination to the priesthood was arranged for April 25th, the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. At this service Herman Hattaway and Rudd met Bp. Mote and began studying for Holy Orders.

Membership grew with an active lay readers program under the leadership of Cam Thomas and later, the Rev. Robert Porter. St. James had three acolytes and the beginning of a very active altar guild. On Christmas Eve day, 28 parishioners arrived to help set up for the service and to place greens and poinsettias on the altar. The candlelight service drew about 110 people. The organist was surprised with a new “used” organ with a full pedal board. For the first time at St. James, a choir of four sang with enthusiasm and attempted anthems not previously in their repertoire.

Upon Bishop Motes acceptance of Deacon Krehemkar’s credentials and examination by Dean Falk as examining chaplain, Deacon Krehemkar’s ordination to the priesthood was arranged for April 25th, the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. At this service Herman Hattaway and Rudd met Bp. Mote and began studying for Holy Orders."

The stay at the Prairie Village Community Center had came to an end with a large rent increase, so “St. James On The Move,” began its search for another home. They found the Prairie Village YMCA just a short distance down the road. The facilities were smaller, but adequate. Along with a sanctuary area, they had additional facilities for nursery and coffee and fellowship. In July of 1979 Bp. Mote ordained Herman Hattaway to the diaconate.

The congregation searched for a permanent building. The building codes of metropolitan Kansas City required more land than the church could afford to buy, so a committee worked diligently to locate a structure on suggestions from the congregation.

Three member of the congregation spotted a realtor placing a for sale sign in front of a small but well located church at 4400 Wyoming Street. An emergence meeting was called that night, and within three days, the parish raised a total of $37,000 toward the $55,000 purchase price of the Old Reformed Church. The first service in the new church was Thanksgiving morning. The inside of the church proper was designed like a theater with a sloping floor and curving pews. Phase I was put in operation immediately and members raised the floor, created a sanctuary, raised the altar and carpeted the sanctuary, completing it by 6:00 pm Christmas eve. By Easter 1981, the green walls had been painted and the beams restored. Choir pews installed and the curved pews replaced by straight ones. Garage sales and Christmas bazaars contributed to the building fund. The Easter edition of the Kansas City star showed one of St. James’ acolytes on front page in full color (a picture taken on Maundy Thursday evening).

February 1981, the Rev. Robert Porter was received as a priest into the diocese. And the rev. Donald Hoffelt, on Old Catholic Priest, was ordained conditionally a deacon and then ordained Priest. In June Bishop Falk officiated the first wedding in the new church. The next day, the Bishop received the Rev. John Sweigart from the Episcopal Church. At the 10:30 family Eucharist, the Bishop installed Fr. Krehemkar as rector and dean of the West Missouri Deanery.

Fr. Porter, active in evangelism and missionary work, started a mission in Blue Springs, Mo. On Advent Sunday, 1981, St. Luke’s Mission Leavenworth, Kansas was started with Fr. Hoffelt as Rector. Fr Hattaway, ordained to the priesthood in May, 1982 at Minneapolis, assisted Fr. Porter and Fr. Krehemkar at St. James along with campus ministry his work with Boy Scouts of America.

During this time, the congregation suffered the loss of three members—Fr. Dwaye Genista who died in January 1979 of cancer and Beverly Pedrick. Her husband Linwood past away soon after from a sudden illness. The Pedrick memorial fund provided St. James with Altar Silver and the beautiful Altar Cross cast in England in 1789 for St. Anne’s Church, London, England. St. Anne’s Church was destroyed in WWII.


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