Grass was not growing under the feet of the nascent first Protestant Episcopal church in San Diego. The Parish of St. Paul (incorporated in 1887), formerly known as the Parish of the Holy Trinity (1882-1886), was a small but active group of laity and community leaders. When they hired their newly ordained priest, The Rev. Henry B. Restarick in 1882, I wonder if they realized their spiritual life was poised for the great commission-- "Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations..." Sometimes the "nations" are at the edge of your own geographic sphere.
|Henry Bond Restarick eventually |
become Bp of Honolulu
In 1892 a group of lay people proposed to Rev. Restarick that they wished to initiate services within a radius of 20 miles of San Diego for country settlements where no religious services were currently held, a much larger sphere than the former mission work had encompassed. This lay group became known as the Lay Reader's Association of St. Paul's. These lay missionaries provided a roving Eucharist complete with sermon and music. "The idea was to gently lead such people into the Church... by letting the Prayer Book service work upon them, and by giving them instruction in the Spirit of Love." Several members of this Lay Readers Association of St. Paul's went on to seek Holy Orders.
The churches, chapels, and missions established by the Parish
of St. Paul, under the leadership of the Rev. Henry B. Restarick
and the Lay Reader's Association of St. Paul were:
|All Saints Church in Hillcrest was a mission of St. Paul’s|
1887 St. Matthew's- National City
1892 St. James the Great- Logan Heights
1895 St. John's- Bostonia (now El Cajon)
1897 St. Mark's- South San Diego
1897 All Saints- Mission at 6th and Thornton St.
1897 Mission in Oceanside
1897 St. Peter's- Mission in Coronado
1897 Mission in Escondido
Paula Peeling is a long-time member and Stewardship Committee Historian
Sources: History of San Diego 1542-1908 (San Diego, 1907) by William E. Smythe; The Churchman February 19. 1898, p. 295; Lay Readers Their History, Organization and Work (New York, 1894) by The Rev. H. B. Restarick