Whenever we tell someone that we are "Anglican Catholic", we often get responses like "What the heck is that?", or, "How is it possible to be both Anglican and Catholic?". Our response to the latter is, "We can't imagine how it could be possible to be either Anglican or Catholic, without being both!"
We are Catholic because we believe and practice the “universal” or catholic faith of the church, as originally established and handed down by the Apostles of Jesus Christ and passed on to us directly through their successors up to the present day.
The word “Catholic” is often understood in opposition to the word “Protestant.” However, in the early church, the word catholic stood in opposition to the word, “heretic.” Those who held to the catholic, or universal, faith stood in opposition to those who rejected some essential aspect of that faith.
The Anglican Catholic Church is Traditional, Apostolic and Catholic. From the ancient church we inherit our worship, the Creeds, the Apostolic Ministry of bishops, priests and deacons and the Sacraments. From the Reformation, we inherit an emphasis on the Bible and the Truth of the Gospel that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
Today, as in centuries past, faithful Anglo-Catholic Christians oppose false beliefs and harmful practices whenever they creep into the church and are a departure from the ancient, apostolic and catholic faith. Thus, Anglican Catholic faith is best understood as a reformed catholic faith. Always and everywhere, The Church, through its faith and practices must oppose the errors of every age in order to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3:3 KJV).
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our mission is to proclaim the objective reality of God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.
In 1993, St. Stephen's was founded by Canon Craig Merkel, his wife and family, and a small group of very close friends who shared the same vision to plant a traditional, orthodox Anglican parish, rooted in ancient Catholic order. Today, 26 years later, St. Stephen's is blessed with a growing and dynamic body of Christians, committed to maintaining those founding principles, and carrying the Light of Christ into the modern world, without compromise of Christian Faith, as given us by Christ
A vibrant parish is one with its doors open to the faithful members of its parish, and to the community at large; a visible and active worship of God, and a visible and active presence in the community. Many opportunities for worship AND community service are engaged at St. Stephen's.
MEET THE CLERGY
The Very Reverend
Fr. William Dickerson, OSB, Rector
Fr. John Everett, Associate
Fr. William+ studied Theology at Ohio Dominican University, and graduated from Northeastern University (NEU) in Boston with a BSc, summa cum laude. With MSc studies at NEU, Clinical Pastoral Education at Mount Carmel in Ohio. Fr. William+ has a well-rounded portfolio of experience and education.
Fr. William+ has been the Rector and Pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish for more than 6 years. He has served parishes in the ACC for 18 years and is also the Vicar General for the Diocese of New Orleans, Anglican Catholic Church.
Fr. John+ was recently ordained to the Priesthood and functions as the Associate Priest at St. Stephen’s.
Fr. John+ has an extensive academic background and has worked in the IT world for many years before answering the call to the Priesthood.
Fr. John+ has a keen understanding of the development of the Church and is an excellent Bible Study teacher and preacher.
Parish Leadership - The Vestry
Our pastoral staff and parish leadership team are fully committed to the growth of God's Kingdom, and providing a loving, spiritual environment for all to encounter God in Word, Sacrament, Prayer, and Service to others.
The Administration of our Parish is accomplished through our Vestry. With the Rector, our Vestry is comprised of a Senior Warden, whose duty it is to represent the concerns and needs of the Parish to the Rector as well as represent the decisions taken at vestry meetings to the Parish. In essence, the Sr. Warden is the first Executive Officer of the Parish, and is responsible to the Rector. The Junior Warden is charged with the responsibility to oversee the proper function and maintence of our facilities. The Parish Treasurer is responsible for maintaining all of the financial aspects of the Parish, and 3 additional vestrymen provide for the proper deliberation over providing for the temporal needs of the parish.
The first priority in each of the lives of those who lead the Parish in the various aspects of parish life, is their personal committment to the worship of Almighty God. Nothing is more important than this fundamental aspect of a Christian's life. Plenty of time is given to the attention of the temporal needs of the parish, but only after due time is given to God in worship. All Vestry members, Parish development leaders, and all in positions of responsibility are dedicated to Christ!