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.
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.
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