A History St
A History St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Excerpt from Indiana: A New Historical Guide by Robert M. Taylor, Jr., Errol Wayne Stevens, Mary Ann Ponder, and Paul Brockman. Published in 1989 by the Indiana Historical Society, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. (317) 232-1879
Wabash Valley Profiles A series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history.
This is a mirror of the site at http://web.indstate.edu/community/vchs/wvp/stephens.htm
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Even before Bishop Jackson Kemper's fateful visits to Terre Haute in the late 1830s, several notable citizens were committed to Episcopalian teachings. A few founders of  St. Stephen's Church were instrumental in establishing other local Protestant parishes.
Eveline (Clark) Danaldson, Franceska (Goverman) Blake and Jane (McCutcheon) Krumbhaar are credited with convincing Bishop Kemper to dispatch a minister to the thriving community. The congregation officially organized April 15, 1840. Colonel Thomas Holdsworth Blake and William Frege Krumbhaar were elected wardens. Dr. Ebenezer Daniels, Levi Warren, Jacob Bourne and John Rutledge were initial vestrymen. Rev. Charles Prindle was Kemper's choice as pastor and arrived in May.
Services were first conducted in the old Vigo County Court House. Prindle died a few months later and was succeeded by Rev. Robert E. Croes. Under his direction, the congregation leased a building at the southeast corner of Third and Ohio streets. During the day, Croes conducted a subscription school there. The congregation's first church - among the first local structures to boast Gothic Revival architecture - was dedicated June 9, 1845, on the west side of Fifth Street, a few doors north of Wabash Ave. Croes remained as pastor until May 1850.
As the parish flourished under the guidance of Revs. William G. Spencer, Thomas Mills Martin and Chauncey Fitch, a larger structure was demanded. The cornerstone for St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at 215 N. Seventh Street was laid May 4, 1862. The lot and improvements cost $17,000. A $7,000 rectory was completed soon thereafter. Services were first conducted there in 1863.
In 1871 the parish acquired a $2,500 organ. The imposing bell tower was mounted in 1874. The great hall and cloister room were annexed in 1891. The congregation has completed the church by adding a new chapel, educational building, cloister porch and formal garden.
After its desertion by the parish, the 1845 Episcopal church on N. Fifth Street was converted into a theater. For a few years it was the Academy of Music, operated by Luke Schoolcraft and Jake Kern. Schoolcraft moved to New York in 1871 and became a noted musician, actor, and songwriter. The theater was renamed the Adelphi Theater before the building was moved to the back of the lot. It was later demolished.
I attended the church on North Seventh Street as a child, was baptized there and sang in the choir. I was also an acolyte. The minister I recall most fondly is Thomas Mabley.

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