History of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Lake Worth Beach, Florida
On January 25, 1914, William Henry Sampson, the first settler of Lake Worth township, along with fourteen other communicants, founded St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. The first services of the Mission Church were conducted by The Rev. Gilbert Ottman, who came from Holy Trinity Church in West Palm Beach. The original sanctuary building was constructed on the existing site in the fall of 1914, and a small concrete parish hall was added in 1920. This sanctuary was destroyed by the disastrous hurricane of September 16, 1928, but a new church was erected a year later. The handmade altar, an 18th century Italian eagle lectern, and beautiful cypress pews that furbished the 1929 sanctuary are still in use today!
St. Andrews remained a Mission Church until 1947, when the thriving congregation became a Parish and The Rev. Mason A. Frazell became its first Rector. Rather Frazell was followed in 1962 by The Rev. Edward J. Watson, during whose tenure the church built St. Andrew’s Residence Apartments in downtown West Palm Beach.
In 1970, The Rev. Garfield N. Brown became Rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Under his watch, artisans from McMow Art Glass in Lake Worth installed beautiful stained glass windows to replace the existing frosted glass windows of the sanctuary. The stained glass windows depict Christian themes and the sacramental life of the church, the church year, and the spiritual qualities of faith, hope and charity. They even include a few images of past parishioners.
The Rev. William E. Hamilton served St. Andrews from 1986 to 2005, and the Integrity Palm Beach chapter was formed during his tenure. The parish hall was also remodeled and made ADA compliant, a choir room added, a narthex was erected and the memorial garden was created.
The Rev. Paul Rasmus served as Rector from 2005 to 2019, establishing a strong call to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God,” and leading the local justice ministry efforts of the congregations and community. An annual concert and lecture series, and added a new state-of-the art electronic organ, were also added during those year.
Today St. Andrew’s is a living, loving church with an active pastoral ministry of caring for shut-ins and hospitalized persons; a nursing home ministry; an active youth group; and the only Episcopal Integrity chapter in Florida. The congregation embraces inclusion, love, tolerance and respect for everyone, realizing that we are all made in His image. Armed with God’s word and a strong faith, we dedicate ourselves with determination, zeal, and initiative, to facing tomorrow’s challenges with great expectation and hope.