Parish History

Following the Truth of the Christian message

This stands unashamedly for the Truth of the Most Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God Holy Ghost. That unchanging Truth as always taught by the Church, popular or unpopular, whether before a congregation of one or a hundred, or a thousand. The Catholic Faith in the "Traditional" Anglican expression makes demands upon its people: behavior and manner of living must conform to Jesus Christ. We are strict about some things regarding sexual morality and marriage laws. These things are not popular with some, especially those who are "shopping" for a church. We are about the Truth of the Christian message, not about looking for a message that finds one comfortable, acceptable, conforming to one's private judgment rather than the revealed judgment of God as expressed for two thousand years. While this indeed may seem strict, we must offer you a firm foundation so that you may have that peace which the world cannot give; the peace of God that passes man's understanding.

The Catholic Faith in the "Traditional" Anglican expression is one of forgiveness, of prayerfully allowing souls to respond to God's call in many varied ways, but all along the same path, guided by the theology expressed in Holy Scripture, the "traditional" Book of Common Prayer, and our Hymnal as well as the apostolic succession of our bishops and those priests validly ordained by them, in communion with them, serving Christ's Holy Catholic Church and preaching the Gospel of the saving truth of Jesus Christ.

St. John's red door
The importance of our parish

We are committed to working for the salvation of our souls, the souls of those whom we love, and those in our community and the world at large. St. John's is one small part of this worldwide cause.

Many have criticized us by implying that God's law is too inconvenient to implement into a realistic modern lifestyle. This denial of Christian morality and the substitution of worldly values for the values of our Lord has caused many to join with us to live a Faith full of the love of the Gospel rather than a love of the world.

We have rejected the way of the world. We refuse to serve the Devil; our goal is to follow only the Lord. This is why our parish is so important; we stand for the salvation of souls: mine, yours, and your neighbors.

A Brief History

Exterior cross
Before St. John's Anglican Church

The village of Quincy was incorporated in 1834. At that time there was a population of six or seven hundred persons, scattered between Vermont and Delaware, Third and Eighth streets. The village's few streets were rough trails and lanes.

Making it official

In 1835, a notice appeared in The Illinois Bounty Land Register, Quincy's first newspaper, advertising a meeting to be held to discuss the organization of an Episcopal church in Quincy. However, it was not until Easter Day, March 26, 1837, that the Rt. Rev. Philander Chase, Bishop of the Diocese of Illinois, arrived in Quincy to officiate at the first services here, having traveled from his log cabin home near Peoria by boat, wagon, and carriage. Following these services, a meeting, attended by twenty people, was held for the purpose of forming a parochial association. The Articles of Association were drawn up, and the new church was named after St. John.

Church members purchased a lot on North Sixth St., between Hampshire and Vermont and a 24 by 35-foot frame building was constructed. With 12 Communicants, St. John's was now an established fact. The Parish Church of St. John's was formally consecrated by Bp. Chase on June 24, 1838, the Feast of St. John the Baptist. As early as 1843, discussion began to construct a new church building and a site on the northeast corner of Seventh and Hampshire was chosen in 1844. In 1852 contracts were let for the new building. This gothic style building was completed in 1853.

The Diocese of Quincy

Steady growth saw St. John's reach 130 Communicants by 1856. St. John's served the people of the Quincy area as a parish until October 11, 1877, when the Diocese of Quincy was created by the Episcopal Church and St. John's was named the Cathedral. St. John's served as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Quincy until the see was moved to Peoria in May of 1962. Between the years of 1962 and 1987, St. John's was the site for many ministries within the parish, in the Quincy Community, the Diocese of Quincy, and the Episcopal Church.

Parish ceded from the Episcopal Church of United States of America

Over the years there have been many changes in the life of this parish. Changes in stone and mortar, the material foundation of the church; legal changes in management, charters, and statutes; personnel changes; differences in the power of Bishops, Deans, Rectors, Priests-in-charge, Chapters, Vestries; changes in the form of service and liturgy. But none of these changes can compare to the decision to cede from the Episcopal Church of United States of America in 1994. Since the early 1970s, the Episcopal Church had been making many changes in its faith, order, and morals. A majority of the parish, desiring to remain Orthodox in its faith, order, and practice decided that they could no longer remain in the structure of the Episcopal Church. In 1994, St. John's affiliated with the Anglican Church in America (ACA), an orthodox Anglican jurisdiction of the Traditional Anglican Communion and became known as St. John's Anglican Church. In a settlement with the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, St. John's Anglican Church agreed to vacate the building originally completed in 1853.

New church facility

In early 1996 the parish began worshipping at St. Mary's Chapel on what is now the 14th Street campus of Blessing Hospital. Soon, construction plans were developed and property purchased for the construction of a new church facility. Completed in 1998, this new church facility, located on Payson Road just east of Thirty-Sixth Street, was formally consecrated by the Most Rev. Louis W. Falk, Primate of the Anglican Church in America and Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley (DMV) on September 20, 1998.


In March 2003, the Rev. Fr. Stephen D. Strawn became the Rector of St. John's and the parish began to implement new ministries and saw its activity as a parish family increase. In June 2007, Fr. Strawn was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley and was consecrated on October 13, 2007. On December 31, 2007, Abp. Falk retired as Bishop Ordinary, having already retired as Primate of the ACA and TAC, and Bishop Strawn became the 2nd Bishop Ordinary of the DMV on January 1st, 2008. At the 28th Synod of the DMV, Bishop Strawn names St. John's as his Cathedral and with the consent of the Synod, St. John's became the Mother Church of the DMV.

Through it all, St. John's Anglican Church has managed to stand firm for the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Previous Rectors

John Sellwood 1837-1838
James Young 1838-1840
George Giddinge 1841-1856
William Rudder 1857-1858
Alexander Capron 1858-1859
John Eger 1861-1863
Henry Strong 1863-1864
Sidney Corbett 1865-1875
William Fiske 1875-1877
Edward Larrabee 1877-1879
Robert Ritchie 1879-1881
John Davidson 1881-1883
Ingram Irvine 1883-1885
Henry Dyer 1886-1886
Michael Hicks 1886-1887
C.C. Lemon 1888-1891
Edward Rudd 1891-1892

Waltar Moore 1892-1906
Wyllys Rede 1906-1909
William Gustin 1909-1910
Chapman Lewis 1910-1914
William Cone 1914-1920
George Long 1920-1925
George Davis 1925-1926
William James 1926-1931
J.A. Schaad 1931-1936
Carl Heiligstedt 1936-1946
Edward Bubb 1947-1954
Frederick Wolf 1954-1957
Charles Upson 1958-1981
Garrett Clanton 1982-1994
John McCarthy 1994-1995
Lee Owens 1995-1996
Oscar Natwick 1996-2002