St Ambrose’s Episcopal Church (Antigo, Wisconsin)
|St. Ambrose Episcopal Church|
|Location||Antigo, Wisconsin, USA|
|District||Diocese of Fond du Lac|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Mission Congregation|
|Website||St. Ambrose Episcopal Church|
|Architectural style||Gothic Tudor|
|Completed||1907 (current building)|
St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, Antigo, Wisconsin (formerly known as St. Joseph's), United States, is a mission congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. The congregation first met in 1883, organizing in 1886.
The first service in Antigo was held in November, 1883, when the Rev. Walter R. Gardner was called from Fond du Lac to baptize Bessie and Euphemia, infant daughters of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Hill. On Sunday, January 3, 1886, Bishop John Henry Hobart Brown first Bishop of Fond du Lac, visited Antigo and formally organized St. Joseph's mission. Services were held the last Sunday in each month in Odd Fellows' Hall. In April 1886, Jameson, who had just been ordained, came into residence and began to hold services every Sunday. About forty children were baptized, a lot was bought on the east side of Milton street south of Sixth Avenue, and a frame church built at the cost of about $800. The building was moved twice then used as a parish hall until sold and moved in 1948.
In 1907 a stone church and vicarage was started under Rev. W. Fred Allen and when dedicated in 1908 changed from St. Joseph to St. Ambrose. It was completed in 1909. in 1947, a donation from Meda Zobel at Christmas paid off the remaining mortgage debt of $437.00. A memorial garden was added in the 1980s.
The church was rewired in 1960. The Sacristy was renewed in 1967 with a new sink, cupboards, lighting, and other improvements. The flat roof over the Sacristy and choir room was replaced by a peaked one in 1987 - 88 and the interior of the church was insulated in 1987. It was also during this time that the stained glass windows were repaired.
St. Ambrose Today
The size of the congregation has grown and diminished and grown again, many times reflecting the growth or lack of growth of the Antigo area. While about half of the members live in Antigo, many of the faithful live many miles from the church. It is the hope of the congregation of St. Ambrose that more people will come to join in the community of the faithful in this church. Efforts are made to meet the changing interests and needs of the surrounding community.
Many programs and activities have been offered to increase the faith and knowledge of current members as well as newcomers. Episcopal Church Women, St. Therese Guild, and the Daughters of the King continue to be active groups for women in the congregation. Solo Flight, a ministry for single persons in the church or those who are looking for a church, began in 2007. Cursillo once again has become an active interest. Godly Play, a children’s Christian education program has been initiated. The Alpha Program and Via Media have been offered to strengthen the faith of the people of the congregation. Each year there are Baptisms, Confirmations, Receptions, deaths, marriages, and new faces in the pews.
In the commemorative booklet published to celebrate the centennial of St. Ambrose in 1986, one of the goals was stated as “increasing spiritual growth as thankfulness to God for 100 years of being His witness in Antigo.” May this increasing spiritual growth continue to show our thankfulness to God as we continue to be God’s witnesses in this place.
This is listing of clergy who have served as missionaries, vicars or deacons. Antigo, St. Ambrose (St. Joseph's)
- 1883 Walter R. Gardner
- 1886–1887 Joseph Jameson
- 1887–1894 visiting priests irregularly held services: O.S. Prescott, L.D. Hopkins
- 1890–1891 Alfred Wilson Griffin
- 1894–1897 L.C. Birch
- 1899 R. G. Osborne
- 1900 L. Moran
- 1904–1905 George H. Kesselhuth
- 1905 J.Boyd Coxe
- 1906–1907 W. L. Williams
- 1907–1908 W. Fred Allen
- 1908–1909 Arthur F. Searling Peck
- 1908 R. Johnston Campbell
- 1909–1913 Alfred W. Griffen
- 1913–1919 Cuthbert F. Hinton
- 1918–1919 J.J. Crawford
- 1919–1920 Campbell Gray
- 1920–1922 Leroy Jahn, Campbell Gray, Locum Tenens
- 1923–1928 Franklin C. St. Clair
- 1928–1929 W. G. Kings
- 1930–1934 Clyde Jay Miller
- 1935–1937 W.S. Booker, lay reader
- 1935–1937 W. S. Christian
- 1937–1938 W. E. Everest
- 1938–1939 John S. Letherman
- 1939–1942 Benjamin H. Wood
- 1942–1944 B.L. Marceil
- 1946–1950 W. Roy Bennett
- 1951–1952 Howard L. M. Cowan
- 1952–1953 Peter Culmer, Augustine Rivett
- 1953–1955 Harold Paul Russell
- 1955–1960 Harold G. P. Kappes
- 1960–1966 Howard Kayser
- 1966–1968 John M. Larson
- 1968–1972 Larry E. Valentine
- 1972–1976 John Splinter
- 1976–1980 Keith Bernard Whitmore
- 1980–1984 Kell Morton
- 1984–1992 David E. Wessell
- 1993–1997 Macdonald Wilhite
- 1999–2005 Harlan Bemis
- 2005–2008 Kristina Henning
- 2008–Present Regular Supply
Curtiss, A. Parker (1925). History of the Diocese of Fond du Lac and Its Several Congregations. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin: P.B. Haber Printing. "Compiled Under The Direction of The Bishop, in Commemoration of its FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY"