Christ Our Saviour Church, Denison, Texas

From time to time, The Anglo-Catholic features the stories of Ordinariate-bound parishes and communities. You are welcome to submit articles and pictures to FrPhillips@atonementonline.com. This article was written by Fr. Clayton T. Holland.

scan00021 300x200 Christ Our Saviour Church, Denison, Texas

Christ Our Saviour, View of Nave and Sanctuary

Christ our Saviour Anglican Church in Denison, Texas had its initial formation upon the retirement of the Rev. Clayton T. Holland from a full-time chaplaincy with the Veterans Administration. Fr. Holland, a life-long Anglican, grew up on a farm in southern Michigan and was a member of a truly rural parish. Throughout high school he was the parish organist and knew from the age of 16 that he was destined for the priesthood. After a stint in the Army he graduated from Eastern Michigan University and within three years entered the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Ordained to the Diaconate and the Priesthood in 1962 and transferring to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, he served several parishes throughout Texas. In 1975 he began a long time career as Chief of Chaplain Service with the Veterans Administration.

By 1964 Fr. Holland, along with many others, entered into a life-long battle to preserve the doctrine, discipline and liturgical practices of the Anglican expression of the Catholic Faith. Battle after battle was lost and eventually in 1988 the time had come, with the support of his wife Jenny, to make the spiritually and emotionally painful decision to leave the pastoral ministry of the Episcopal Church, though continuing his work in the Veterans Administration until retirement.

After retirement from the VA, a chapel was built over the garage at their home in Denison, and Anglican Services were begun under the patronage of St. Michael and All Angels, named after his home parish in Michigan. This also involved seeking a home with one of the Continuing Anglican Churches that had been formed after the 1977 Congress of Concerned Churchmen in St. Louis, Missouri. The search led to contacting the Most Rev. Lewis W. Falk, Primate of the Anglican Church in America who put him in contact with the late Rt. Rev. Thomas Beckwith of the Diocese of the Southwest.

With Bishop Beckwith’s encouragement, the church facility was transformed into a Seminary, also under the patronage of St. Michael and All Angels. Among the students was the future Rev. Jerry Sherbourne who is now serving as a full time Chaplain with the United States Army under the leadership of Bishop Moyer of the ACA.

By 2005 the parish had outgrown the chapel and after the closing of a parish of another jurisdiction in Denison, a deacon was inherited. The Rev. Randall Fogle of Denison, under the guidance of Archbishop Falk, began his training for his sub conditione ordination to the Diaconate. After his ordination to the Diaconate, Deacon Fogle passed the canonical examinations for ordination to the Priesthood and eventually assumed the Pastoral Ministry at what is now Christ our Saviour Anglican Church.

Christ our Saviour Anglican Church owns its church building, which is a restored former Pentecostal Church. With hard work and limited finances, it has been transformed into a beautiful Anglican church, though with very limited space for additional facilities.

Fr. Fogle celebrates Mass every Sunday at 10:00 AM, preceded by Instruction in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, taught by parishioner Gina Byrum. Since last summer’s DMV Synod we have had between 96 to 100% attendance by the parishioners each Sunday. The parish has voted to enter the Ordinariate as soon as it is formed and acting under the guidance of Archbishop Falk we are continuing our support of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley until that event takes place.

Both Fr. Holland and Fr. Fogle are submitting their ordination records and other papers to Archbishop Falk, and we trust that sometime next year we will become Christ our Saviour Catholic Church within the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States. Fr. Fogle is married to Patty Ford and they are now parents and grandparents. Fr. Holland is a widower and at the age of eighty-one, he limits much of his church work to playing the organ for Sunday Mass and leading a Bible Study following Wednesday evening Vespers, though continuing to dream of future plans for the parish.

Like so many heading for the Ordinariate, it has been a long and often-times painful ministry for Fr. Holland, but following the “Becoming One” conference in San Antonio, a glorious future now seems to lie ahead for a continued Anglican expression of the Catholic Faith within the U.S. Ordinariate.

IMG 07281 300x225 Christ Our Saviour Church, Denison, Texas

Christ Our Saviour Anglican Church, Denison, Texas

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About Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

7 thoughts on “Christ Our Saviour Church, Denison, Texas

  1. Looking at the picture of the interior of this parish is such a relief to me. This parish was clearly constructed with very limited resources, and I'm certainly not going to argue it's a fine example of ecclesiastical architecture, but at least when you look at the interior, you can clearly see it's a Catholic (well… Anglican, but catholic, you know) Church.

    Our current church architects and planners can have millions of dollars at their disposal only to produce disorienting monstrosities of "sacred space", but this parish has a clearly defined sanctuary with a centrally located tabernacle and communion rails and the whole shebang! Be still my heart!

    It's things like this that give me great hope for the future of the Ordinariates, and how they can ameliorate the church at large. I have no doubts that, in time, as the Ordinariates grow and find new sources of revenue and the like, these little "house-church" types of parish will give way to beautiful sacred architecture that will put us non-Anglican Catholics and our wreckovated interiors to shame.

  2. Do we know about any other ACA parishes that might be Ordinariate bound, besides those already formally declared?

    1. I too would like to know the thinking of other ACA's parishes in regards to the Ordinariate. After all, it has been over a year since the Apostolic Constitution was announced. One would think that more than just a handful of parishes would have responded publicly about their intentions by this point.

      Also, does anyone have any information about the size of the ACA in Puerto Rico?

  3. These stories of struggle are certainly an inspiration for me, especially considering some of the drama and shady dealings I have faced in the past several weeks.

    It's also nice to see my fellow military and hospital chaplains getting a shout out.

    Looking forward to see other featured parishes and the uniqueness they bring to the Church.

  4. Thank you Fr. Phillips for posting our history. We are very much looking forward to the formation of the U.S. Ordinariate and are so glad we were able to attend the Becoming One conference last month in San Antonio.

    Seth, thank you for your kind comments. We are a small parish on a limited budget but are traditional. Many of our members are newer Anglicans. I was a cradle Episcopalian who left for the TAC/ACA in 1991. At the time it seemed a tough decision, but is by far one of the best I ever made. A few years ago I studied the Catechism under the Deacon teaching RCIA at a St. William the Confessor Catholic Parish in Greenville, TX. When Anglicanorum Coetibus became a reality, I was probably one of the more excited within the TAC/ACA. This is an answer to my prayers. Now I am teaching the CCC (with assistance from Fr. Fogle) to our members at Christ Our Saviour in Denison, TX. It is a great experience for me and I hope for them.

    There are more pictures (before and after) of our little parish on our website if you're interested.

    1. Wow, looks like a lot of work so far. Lots of pictures on the site.
      I might suggest some sort of reredos treatment behind the altar. For about a hundred bucks I could pick up some MDF mouldings at Home Depot and have a nice arched and panelled-looking backdrop to alleviate the rather sterile flat blank wall behind the altar. Even a simple wooden gradine of ample length and height would fill out the undersized altar and create a stronger presence, that and the addition of candlesticks. However, perhaps the length of the building would make a larger altar overpowering? Anyhow, I just like designing and renovating, so pay me no mind. Keep the Faith in Texas. Up here we are a tad more starchy and conservative on our Mass-going duds… Traditionalists through and through ;)
      My former parish met in a rented hall a wee bit larger than yours, and it too was pretty barren. We had rich deep red draperies all along the East wall hung on collapsible supports, just behind the altar we hung a large (4 X 6 ft) tapestry as a focal point, that and the tabernacle. The altar was a folding plywood and pine job about 3 ft wide by 7 feet long, which rested on bolt-together riser sections to create a two step up from the floor. Setup and knockdown every Sunday…

  5. This church is no longer listed on the DMV website. Splitting from Bp. Strawn perhaps, the Bishop? who because of two marriages plus no discernable theological education is absolutely a no go for the Ordinariate. With this omission, the disapearance of the Spanish mission in Irving, the departure to ACNA of All Saints, San Antonio and St. Stephen's, Athens as well as the colapse of the parish in Amarillo Strawn is really doing a great job in Texas. By the way All Saints has tripled in membership since leaving and St. Stephen's is also showing an increase in numbers. Then there are the two parishes in Indiana/Illinois border that are now Western Orthodox and the highly irregular mission in Chicago. Way to go +Stevereno

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