WHAT IS ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH ABOUT?
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Panama City, Florida is located in a serene and picturesque area on St. Andrew Bay. We have an active and enthusiastic congregation and clergy. Our members run from infants and preschoolers to senior citizens. Several families have 3 and even 4 generations participating. We have an active choir that leads us in traditional and contemporary hymns of praise.
Our rector is the Rev. Fr. Dr. Rian Adams. ,who is helping us discover what our special talents are and how God wants us to work to expand His Kingdom through evangelism. He has brought a new spirit of joy in our worship and is dedicated to helping us achieve our mission—to Share Christ, Serve Christ, Love Others. We do this through Christian worship in the Episcopal tradition, community service, education, and working toward our mission to love others.
The earliest records we have for St. Andrew’s indicate that the present congregation was organized in 1914 under the name of Christ Church. The next year Christ Church became St. Andrew’s Church after the patron saint of fishermen.
In 1955 St. Andrew’s began to plan for a new church structure with an A-frame design. The old white frame church building was moved across Baker Court where the offices and educational facilities are now located and was used as the chapel and preschool educational area from 1958 to 1972 when it was sold for $1.00 to the Greek Orthodox Congregation on Baldwin Road.
About 1984 the church was expanded to include an attached chapel, larger sacristies, larger choir room, a narthex on each side, a covered walk way on the East side of the church; the sanctuary was expanded, moving the altar more toward the center of the sanctuary, and the seating arrangement was redesigned.
In the spring of 1995, the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast initiated its “Fulfilling the VISION” Campaign to strengthen diocesan ministries. In the fall of 1996, St. Andrew’s kicked off its own VISION FOR MINISTRY campaign to raise $130,000 for the diocese and the local parish. As a result of this effort, Byrne Hall was razed and a new modern fellowship hall built in 2000; it is still called Byrne Hall after one of our beloved early priests, the Rev. Tom Byrne. During the week the education complex is being used by other organizations such as The Center, LEAD, Narcotics Anonymous, Baker Street Art Group, POPS, Audubon Society, and Panama City Duplicate Bridge.
St. Andrew’s now stands ready for the 21st century with new and renovated facilities and a fresh vision of God’s mission for us in Bay County, Florida.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church underwent a big remodel in 2014 to include moving the choir loft, replacing the pews with chairs, adding a labyrinth and arranging the chairs to focus on the cross in the window facing the bay.
A Vision of Mission
St. Andrew’s vision is to Serve Christ, Share Christ and Love Others. The primary focus of the Church is to minister to those who have yet to enter our doors. Each of us is an evangelist.
A Vision of Worship
Make worship transforming and accessible, so that when people leave they are thirsting to come back for more. Since the pandemic we have added live streaming through Facebook and YouTube ad alternative ways to reach our parishioners to worship.
A Vision of Hospitality
Newcomer ministry is one of our important ministries in our parish. Our church is all inclusive and open to all who wish to enter our doors. Our new hospitality program is called Invite, Welcome, Connect. Our goal is to get newcomers involved and participate in our ministries.
wHAT wE bELIEVE
St. Andrew’s Episcopal is a parish within the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. This means that St. Andrew’s is part of the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, whose members trace their spiritual lineage to the Church of England. The principal places of worship within the parish are the main nave, and the adjoining chapel.
Anglicans, as members of the Communion are generally called, typically pursue God’s love and truth through Scripture, tradition, and reason. The Anglican ethos values patience and tolerance, and generous participation in the cultural life of the world.
We profess two creeds in the Episcopal Church: the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Apostles Creed is the ancient creed of Baptism. The Nicene Creed summarizes the beliefs of Christians.