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Our History

 


 

1867: Grace Episcopal Church was Founded


The church built in 1888 in downtown Suisun

On the last Sunday of April in 1867, a small gathering of Episcopalians met at the Methodist House of Worship in Suisun City, with the Reverend Mr. H.G. Perry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Benicia as the celebrant.

They continued to meet, using supply priests from Saint Paul's and other churches. In July of 1867, the parishioners incorporated the Parish of Grace Episcopal Church in Suisun City.

Suisun City was by then a bustling commerce center, where Suisun Valley farmers and ranchers brought their produce and livestock for transport down the Slough, through the Carquinez Straits at Martinez, and out to the San Francisco Bay and the world beyond. Fairfield, a growing community and the county seat, waited until 1903 to incorporate as a city.

By all accounts, Grace Church prospered in those early years, able in 1870 to acquire the church building from their friends the Methodists. By 1888 Grace Parish had grown to the point of buying a lot on Main Street in Suisun City, where they built a new church, a wooden frame structure of native redwood, which was the fashion during that period in northern California. That building still stands, belonging now to the First Church of Christ, Scientist, at the corner of Morgan and Main Streets in downtown Suisun.

Grace Parish stayed in the church it built in 1888 until December of 1954, when the congregation moved to new facilities built at the corner of Kentucky and First Streets in Fairfield. Major renovations throughout the 1960's and 1970's have turned the original modest, flat-roofed structure into its current functional layout of nave and sanctuary, chapel, offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms, with a landscaped courtyard in the center of the compound.

-excerpted from A History of Grace Episcopal Church, 1867 - 2002, by Warren C. Sheldon

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