History of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Lawrencefield Parish Church is a family-oriented congregation with strong Episcopal tradition, committed to outreach and children’s education. One quarter of the congregation is children under the age of 18 years old. Average Sunday attendance is 60 people divided between the two services. With God’s help, we seek to concentrate our energies toward growth in stewardship, membership, adult education, youth ministry, and of course, knowledge and love of the Lord.

We began with a small group of people meeting for worship on the premises of Mrs. Singleton (Mary) Paull’s Table Rock Estate. The “Spit ‘n’ Whittle” shop, a former workshop of Mrs. Paull’s brother, John Sands, was converted into a chapel, where worship occurred formally for the first time on June 10, 1956. Then known as “Lawrencefield Chapel”, the structure accommodated forty people for Sunday morning services. The Rev. W. Carroll Thorn, rector of St. Luke’s Church on Wheeling Island, served Lawrencefield Chapel, eventually becoming our first rector. Sunday School classes were initially held in Mrs. Paull’s home.

About five years after the chapel opened, Mrs. Paull donated six acres of her property for the present church building. Ground was broken on June 3, 1962, and the first service was held on March 3, 1963.

Carroll Thorn was succeeded in 1987 by the Rev. Dr. Franklin Brookhart. In 2000, the chapel applied for parish status and has been known since then as Lawrencefield Parish Church. Dr. Brookhart left in 2003 to become Bishop of Montana. The parish’s current rector, The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Byers Walter, has served since May of 2006.