The history of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church begins in 1889, when Christ Church, in Nashville planted a new mission, meeting in the railroad depot, on Charlotte Pike. The church grew and expanded, as Nashville grew and in 1892, the congregation built a new sanctuary at the corner of 47th Ave and Georgia Ave. That original church building was damaged in a tornado, then destroyed by lightening damage, so in 1902, the congregation rebuilt at 49th and Michigan Avenues.
In 1908, the Rev J.F. McCloud became the first full-time Vicar and served until 1918. He was succeeded by various “Supply” clergy from Christ Church until The Rev. McCloud was called back to St. Andrew’s in 1924. In 1927, the congregation Moved to the southeast corner of 46th and Park Avenues, with the chapel physically moved, transported on rollers to the new location.
In 1933 a new church of stone was begun, the old church becoming the parish house. When Fr. McCloud passed-away in 1946; Christ Church presented the mission a new pipe organ, in his memory.
The Rev Frank E. Walker, who became Vicar of St. Andrew’s in 1949, was responsible for converting the old frame church annex into a modern parish house. (That building still stands today and is the current home of All Saints Southern Episcopal Church.)
In 1956 Bishop John van der Horst ordained the Rev. Donald E. Mowery, as deacon and assigned him immediately to be in charge of St. Andrew’s. The first ordination to occur in the new mission took place on January 18, 1957 when Fr. Mowery was ordained to the priesthood. After his ordination Fr. Mowery began the celebration of daily Masses at St. Andrew’s. At that time, Bp. van der Horst’s wish was that St. Andrew’s celebrate a decidedly Anglo-Catholic churchmanship. Under Fr. Mowery’s leadership and our dedication to the Gospel and sacred tradition, St. Andrew’s achieved parish status in January, 1960.
In 1963, on the feast of the Ascension, the Rev Edwin L. Conly of Dallas celebrated his first Mass as St. Andrew’s new Rector. Under his leadership, the Parish decided in 1964 to leave its West Nashville home of seventy-five years and move to the “Robert Cheek Mansion” at 3700 Woodmont Boulevard in the Green Hills area of west Nashville. On August 27, 1965, with the Litany of Saints sung in procession, the Parish family came on to the Woodmont property for the first Mass in the new location.
In 1968, when the Cheek house “receiving-room” proved too small for the congregation’s worship needs, ground was broken, at that location, for what was to be a temporary chapel to serve until a larger church could be built.
Then on the 16th Sunday after Trinity; September 21, 1969, the new building became the location for daily offices and Masses, while the Cheek house continued to serve for hospitality, offices, and classrooms.
On the last day of October in 1985, Fr. Conly retired after twenty-two years as Rector of St. Andrew’s, and the Rev George C. Stacey from the Diocese of Milwaukee became the third Rector of the Parish with the celebration of Mass on All Saints’ Day.
On the feast of St. Andrew in 1989, the Parish celebrated the Centennial of its founding with a beautiful Mass at which Fr. Mowery was celebrant; on his first return to St. Andrew’s since leaving for Memphis; 22 years earlier.
At this time, and after prayerful deliberation, plans were formalized to replace the Cheek mansion and to construct a new church building, with the 1969 building to become the parish hall as originally intended. But, the Vestry realized that such a plan would have left the Parish without classrooms and offices, while replacing a building that had served very well as the Parish’s worship space. The Rector and Vestry then agreed that a larger church would not be needed until the present building could no longer accommodate the congregation, so planning shifted to a much-needed new parish hall with functional offices and classrooms. The Cheek house was demolished in the summer of 1992 to make room for the new building, with offices moved temporarily to the cottage at the rear of the property until the new parish hall was occupied in 1993. Meanwhile, modest improvements were made in the Church: windows over the narthex doors, a new lighting system, and a new stall against the rear screen for choir and organ. A wonderful new pipe organ by Visser-Rowland of Houston was installed in February, 1993.
On June 28, 1998 Father Stacey held his last service as Rector of St. Andrew’s. His pastoral tenure spanned over twelve years and wrought many wonderful changes for the church. His guidance would be missed but the parish had grown under his direction and St. Andrew’s began the task of finding a new Rector.
After more than a year of meetings and prayer, the people of St. Andrew’s welcomed Father James M. Guill as the fourth Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Father Guill conducted his first service on St. Mary’s Day, August 15, 1999. A native of Memphis, Father Guill earned his J.D. from Emory University, and he had practiced Law for several years before entering the seminary at Nashotah House, with a call to the priesthood. Before coming to St. Andrew’s of Nashville, Father Guill was an associate pastor at St. Andrew’s in Collierville, Tennessee.
Due to many changes in the Episcopal denomination and the belief that the Gospel-centered, orthodox teachings and practices held so dearly by St. Andrew’s members and clergy were no longer being honored and proclaimed in the wider part of the Episcopal Church, in 2006
St. Andrew’s through vote of its Vestry and congregation decided to leave The Episcopal Church for what would become the Anglican Church in North America.
St. Andrew’s was then received into the Diocese of Quincy, by The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, the 8th Bishop of Quincy, and at their annual Synod Fr. Guill was also welcomed as a diocesan priest.
After notifying The Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee of its decision to leave in 2006, St. Andrew’s attempted to negotiate an amicable withdrawal from the Diocese. The Diocese did not recognize St. Andrew’s rights in the property at 3700 Woodmont Blvd, The Diocese claimed a unilateral trust in the property due to a canon called “The Dennis Canon”, passed in 1976, ten years after the Diocese had deeded any interest it had in the property to the parish and people of St. Andrew’s.
Sadly, After 3 years of difficult negotiations, and upon orders from the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Very Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, on 30 October 2009 the Diocese of Tennessee sued St. Andrew’s, it’s clergy and it’s vestry, for return of the property.
In 2009, St. Andrew’s welcomed The Rt. Rev J. Alberto Morales, who was elected and consecrated the Ninth Bishop of Quincy; after Bishop Ackerman’s retirement.
On Easter Monday, 2010, the Chancery Court ruled against St. Andrew’s and gave the entire property and belongings to the Episcopal Diocese. The Tennessee Court of Appeals then allowed this decision to stand, and the Parish appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. However, in September 2012, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal and St. Andrew’s was forced to vacate the property on December 31, 2012.
A new chapter in St. Andrew’s history began on December 30, 2012, when the congregation at Concordia Lutheran Church (LCMS) opened their doors to St. Andrew’s Parish to celebrate Mass, in their beautiful sanctuary on Central Avenue, in Nashville’s West-end. They offered a formal agreement for St. Andrew’s to share their church-space and offices, until a new home could be found.
While sharing the Concordia space, St. Andrew’s saw little growth, but had maintained it’s decidedly Anglo-Catholic focus and a prayerful hope for it’s own space, a growing future and to retake it’s place on the front lines of community Gospel-centered outreach to the people of Nashville. But, in January 2019, Bishop Morales officially placed St. Andrew’s Parish back into Mission Status, until growth and independence would again be achieved.
In December, 2019, The Rev. James Guill retired after 20 years of dedicated service to the people of St. Andrew’s. Bishop Morales called The Rev. Daniel R. Kinkead, a native of St. Louis, Missouri who had focused on church-planting and “ministry on the margins” of society, to be the successor Vicar of St. Andrew’s. Fr. Kinkead and his wife, Miki moved to Nashville during Christmas week, 2019 with a three-fold charge from Bishop Morales:
- Love the People of St. Andrew’s
- Share the love of Jesus with the People of Nashville
- Re-build the church
Fr. Kinkead has taken this charge very seriously and works to see St. Andrew’s grow and re-become the beacon of Gospel hope it has been, in Nashville, for the past 130 years.
Concordia Lutheran Church continues to host St. Andrew’s. The Concordia congregation and leadership have been wonderful examples of Christian love and compassion, to St. Andrew’s, over these past years. St. Andrew’s continues to look for new property and church-space to re-establish its Gospel-centered work to and for the surrounding community.
Our history continues….