St. John's, 1908For many years there were two Episcopal Churches in Randolph-- Grace Church at the Center, and St. John's in the Village. Both churches trace their ancestry to Christ Church, Bethel, which was organized as a parish in 1794. The first Episcopal service in Randolph was held about 1820 and Grace Church was erected in 1848, fourteen years after the "Episcopal Society in Randolph" was organized.

A complex chain reaction saw St. John's Randolph grow out of old Grace Church, which was demolished in 1969. St. John's owes part of its existence to the activities of nineteenth century railroad barons who pushed through a new line in the Civil War era to the town known as West Randolph. Population soon followed and the vestry of Grace Church authorized construction of the present building on Summer Street. (Cost $3,896)

Grace Church, Randolph CenterJudge Weston donated the building lot and the church was completed in 1867. It was consecrated by Bishop Hopkins in 1869. St. John's Parish was organized and become independent of Grace Church. The first service in St. John's was held Christmas Eve, 1867.

The Rev. Homer White became Rector October 16, 1881. During his rectorate St. John's was thoroughly renovated and three stained glass windows were placed in the Church, the center one being inscribed to the memory of John McAvoy. Later a black walnut altar was added. From 1869 to 1894 eighty-five were baptized and fifty-seven were confirmed.

Since 1867 there have been twenty-five Rectors who have served St. John's. The average length of service has been two years and the longest, that of Rev. Timothy Eberhardt, almost thirty years. Also during six different one-year intervals, there has been no Rector. Since June of 2011 we have been blessed with a new Interim Rector, Mark Preece, who has joined our parish during our transition of clergy leadership. To quote from a little book published in 1895, entitled "Historical Souvenir"-- "There seems to be nothing to hinder the future prosperity of this Church."

St. John's Episcopal Church