The History of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church of Milton

Our Church’s Beginning

Excerpts from”Charles Edward McDougall and the Founding of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church of Milton”

St. Mary’s Espicopal Church was first formed in 1867, with its first service held by the Rev. James S. Jarret of Greenville, Alabama on August 4th of that year. The Rev. Jarret preached once that day; took ill, and died thirteen days later, a victim of Yellow Fever! St. Mary’s original congregation was small, yet very influential, with many of Milton’s leading merchants, professional men, and those engaged in every aspect of the lumber industry among its members.

On February 4, 1875 St. Mary’s purchased the northern corner of Escambia and Oak Streets for $150. Most of the work on St. Mary’s church appears to have been completed by 1878.

Charles E. McDougall was ordained Deacon, April 13<1876 in the unfurnished St. Mary’s, by the Rt. Rev. John Freeman Young, and by call of the vestry immediately became minister in charge. On May 7, 1887, McDougall was raised to the priesthod by the Rt. Rev. Edwin G. Weed, and became Rector of St. Mary’s Parish.

Charles E. McDougall died May 25, 1916-three months after his wife, Sarah- having given Milton more than fifty years as a physician, and forty years as its Episcopal rector. Daughter, Mabel lived on in the family home until her death in 1951. In her Will she left the Oak Street house to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, to be used as its rectory. It has been used as a rectory, and church office since.

Moving Forward

Excerpts from the “Parish Profile 2003″

St. Mary’s was listed as a mission from 1937 until 1980, when under the leadership of The Reverand S. Albert Kennington, it again became a parish. Also, as a result of the relentless efforts of Father Kennington, the church building and rectory were both placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982

In 1994 Reverand Billy stoudenmire was called to be the Rector at st. Mary’s, and served in that capacity until February 18,2001, when he announced to the congregation his resignation and his reception as a priest into the Anglican Mission (of Rwanda) in America.

After a period of confusion and axiety, St. Mary’s was blessed with interim rector, The Rev. George Gilbert, a retired Episcopal priest who expertly guided our Parish from May 2001 to June 2003. On june 1, 2003, The Rev, Canon William Buice replaced Gilbert as St. Mary’s interim rector.

In 2004, The Rev. John Wallace joined St. Mary’s as rector until fall of 2008. After a year of being without a priest, Father Matthew Dollhausen, then an ELCA pastor, came to St. Mary’s in October of 2010 as its priest in a half-time position, later becoming our full-time preist-in-charge in August of 2011