Church Of Our Saviour
200 NW 3rd Street
Okeechobee, Florida

History

In 1915 the newly incorporated town of Okeechobee began to experience growth as a result of the extension of the East Coast Railroad. And by 1916, about eight Episcopal families started worship services in Okeechobee using Rev. Stephen R. Reade, the rector at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Fort Pierce. But because of the distance and difficult travel conditions, the services were eventually discontinued.

Worship services were again attempted in 1928 in conjunction with the rector from St Andrew's, but were again discontinued because of travel conditions and time. Then in 1937 Joseph Sperry moved to Okeechobee, became an ordained lay reader, and started conducting Morning Prayer. On alternate Sundays the congregation motored to St. Andrew's in Fort Pierce to receive Holy Communion. However, that effort was also discontinued by 1938 and World War II, the shortage of clergy, and the rationing of gasoline made further services impossible.
 
But the 36 year struggle by those first eight Episcopal families to establish a congregation in Okeechobee was culminated on Ascension Sunday in 1951 when the congregation of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour was given a permanent status. On Ascension Sunday 1953 a newly constructed church and social hall were dedicated by Bishop Henry I. Louttit and Rev. M. Wendall Hainlain, who was then a deacon and was later ordained and became the rector of the church. From that point until 1969, the church was serviced by six different vicars until Rev. Frederick R. Trumbore became rector during which period the Parish Hall and Bell Tower were added.

In 1984 the Rev.Timothy J. Shaw became the rector and under his leadership the sanctuary was enlarged to accommodate the increased attendance, a new rectory was purchased and the former rectory was converted into offices and Sunday School rooms. In 1998, Fr. Shaw was called to serve as rector at St. Paul's in Winter Haven. Fr. Reinel Castro, who had served the Hispanic ministry that was begun in the 1990's served as priest in charge until Rev. Edward A. Weiss became rector of the churchon on Ash Wednesday of 2000. After Fr. Edward retired on November 2, 2014, our church called our current rector Fr. Jim Shevlin, who started on September 15, 2015 and was installed by Bishop Greg Brewer on February 21, 2016. (View picture of the installation)

Over the past sixty years our church continues the Anglican traditions of worship, prayer and outreach to our community, while evolving to a more diverse, inclusive congregation that includes a Sunday Spanish worship service. The vitality of our community of faith is a witness to God’s blessings.