Saint Mary’s History

One of the many things that make St. Mary’s a special place in which to worship and find fellowship is its history. This parish began in Eugene’s pioneer days with the first church building being constructed by members on an acre of land that had been given by the city’s founder Eugene Skinner and his wife Mary, who was a charter member of St. Mary’s. The first service in the building, which Missionary Bishop Thomas Fleming Scott described as “ a very neat and appropriate building capable of seating 125-150 persons, erected mainly by the citizens,” took place on Sunday, January 23, 1859. The fledgling congregation got off to a good start through the guidance of the Rev. Johnston McCormac who served for the next ten years. The next two decades saw priests coming and going, none stayed long but the small congregation held on and grew. Stability returned in 1889 when the 65 year old Daniel Loveridge came to Eugene from the Diocese of Albany, NY. The Rev. Loveridge was an accomplished scholar of Hebrew and Greek. He served until 1907. He was also a talented wood carver and among his many gifts was the altar that is now in the church’s side chapel.

The 20th century saw the parish grow and become active in helping several other Episcopal churches get started in the Eugene/Springfield area. In 1938, St. Mary’s moved to a new brick building on the corner of 13th and Pearl Streets in Eugene and an education wing was added in 1958. The church remains on that site today making St. Mary’s one of Eugene’s downtown churches. Services to the community has always been a major commitment with efforts such as providing winter housing for the homeless families in cooperation with other local churches and synagogues and offering Saturday breakfasts for needy persons as examples.

On Sunday, February 28, 2010, members of St. Mary’s, past and present, celebrated the retirement of the Rev. Ted Berktold who had served the parish for 28 years. He was followed by Priest-In-Charge, the Rev. Bingham Powell, who was elected as Rector in June 2012. Another constant for St. Mary’s has been welcoming visitors and potential new members. You are invited to come and worship with us and hopefully become involved in the many activities and groups in this very lively parish. For further details on St. Mary’s history, we invite you to link on to the St. Mary’s Chronology or the list of St. Mary’s clergy.

Clergy of Saint Mary's

bottom banner