The congregation of the Church of St. Mark, The Evangelist, Episcopal was organized in 1876 by the Rt. Rev. Alexander C. Garrett, then the Bishop of the Missionary District of Northern Texas and later Bishop of Dallas. In 1883 a beautiful church of wood frame construction and with a varnished pine interior was constructed. Bishop Garrett laid the cornerstone of the St. Mark church on April 19, 1883.
Bishop Garrett returned to Honey Grove many times, conducting services, baptizing church members, administering Holy Communion and confirming members. [Read more about the early history below.]
While at a time robust and loyal, the congregation of the Church dwindled, as the economy of the town of Honey Grove and its population decreased, with young folks having to move elsewhere for good jobs.
In 1993 the Hall-Voyer Foundation in Honey Grove assumed ownership of the former Church building in order to preserve it. Extensive restoration was completed at that time. The building was leveled, rotten wood replaced, re-roofed, painted the original colors, re-wired and had central heat and air added. The pine floors were uncovered and refinished. The stained glass windows and the pump organ were restored and electrified. A gazebo was built on the grounds. Since 1993 the building has occasionally been used for weddings. Its interior is in outstanding condition and,is breathtaking.
History of the Church of St. Mark the Evangelist
Honey Grove, Texas
From the Diary of Bishop Alexander C. Garrett
In 1876, Alexander C. Garrett, Bishop of the Missionary district of Northern Texas, later to become the Bishop of Dallas, and the Presiding Bishop of the United States drove to Honey Grove and held service and baptised. He was the guest of Colonel and Mrs. Waltermire.
In 1877, Bishop Garrett accompanied by the Rev. Dr. Lawson spoke in the "Union Church" and baptised. A service of confirmation and holy communion were also held.
In 1877, Bishop Garrett arrived in Honey Grove, where he said Evening Prayer, and baptised and confirmed 5 persons: Thomas Elliott Bolling, George Lorenzo Brewer, Harry Jackson, Annie Eva Stobaugh and Jessie Williams. The infant baprised was Richard Elliott Bolling. On July 17, he examined the application for the organization of a mission church to be knows as the Church of St. Mark the Evangelist. Garrett appointed the following officers of the church: Thomas B. Blake - Bishop's Warden, John Marshall - Treasurer, and George L. Brewer as Secretary. The other four members of the vestry were to be elected by the congregation. On November 24, 1877, morning prayer was said by Mr. Lytton, who had been appointed as vicar and Bishop Garrett preached and administered the Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament. That evening Mr. Lytton said Evening Prayer and Bishop Garrett confirmed and addressed the following person in the "Union Church" which was at that time the home of St. Mark's. They were: James Evan Moore, Albert Alexander Smith, William Waltermire, Mrs. Jeffie Jennings and Alice Stobaugh.
Due to a scheduling conflict with Cooper, Bishop Garrett did not visit Honey Grove, but the services of the church were conducted weekly by the vicar.
On March 26, 1881, Bishop Garrett arrived and went to bed. On March 27 Dr. Lawson, the vicar said Morning Prayer in the Methodist School House and Bishop Garrett preached. That evening, Dr. Lawson said Evening Prayer and Bishop Garrett confirmed William E. Dailey.
On April 18, 1883 Bishop Garrett arrived in Honey Grove.
On April 19, 1883 Bishop Garrett laid the cornerstone of St. Mark's Church. The contents were: A Holy Bible, A Book of Common Prayer, A Hymnal, the Constitution and Cannons of the Episcopal Church, a newspaper, and a bottle of sacramental wine.
On the evening of the 19th, he assisted Dr. Lawson at Evening Prayer and confirmed three persons.
The church property had cost $400.00 and consisted of three prime lots. The deed to the lots was recorded in the courthouse and was then taken to bishop Garrett's Office in Dallas.
On May 5, 1884, Bishop Garrett arrived and was met by Mr. Fetchett, a deacon, who was the deacon-in-charge. The church was neat and well built, with good pews, a fine altar, tabernacle, fine windows, but the builders did not include a vestry. I (Bishop Garrett) allocated money for the vestry, in the L shaped building which would cover the cost of $150.00. That evening, Mr. Fetchett preached and Bishop Garrett confirmed: Dr. William Booth, Mrs. Cordelia Booth and Adele Pennybaker.
On May 6, 1884, Bishop Garrett consulted with the vestry and the Rev. Mr. Fetchett about adding the vestry room. Bishop Garrett gave them $122.00 of the $150.00 to build the addition. [According to Mary Wells, the room was not built until the choir had it added.]
On June 15, 1885 Bishop Garrett said Evening Prayer and Preached. On June 16, he said said Morning Prayer, preached, and baptised Willie and Cornelia Booth.
On March 10, 1886 Bishop Garrett arrived and talked with the vicar the Rev. F. E. Evans. He said Evening Prayer and Preached to a crowded church. It was Ash Wednesday.
On February 20, 1887, the Rev. F. E. Evans resigned. Bishop Garrett preached and administered Holy Communion.
On April 14, 1887, Bishop Garrett was met by Mr. Evans in Honey Grove. He was there to present candidates for confirmation. The Parish was without a clergyman. Bishop Garrett confirmed James McCormick Coulter and Walter Tilton Henderson.
On July 18, 1887 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and baptised James Edwin Brackeen.
On February 9, 1888 Bishop Garrett administered Holy Communion in St. Mark's and at the same time united in marriage Charles Leander Wood and May Rutherford.
On February 13, 1889 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove, said Evening Prayer assisted by the vicar, the Rev. F. E. Evans, preached and confirmed Hogan Cooper Shelton, Mrs. Vick Wilbourne Shelton, and Mrs. Etta Gordon Marshall.
On September 27, 1889, Bishop Garrett again returned to Holy Communion office and confirmed 6 adults and baptised 3 infants.
On September 28, Bishop Garrett celebrated a choral communion in the church. Those baptised on 9/27/89 were: Mrs. Nannie Smith, Erwin Evans Smith, Mrs. Annie P. Taylor, Daisy Day Sims, Elizabeth Stobaugh, Robert Jessie Thomas, Edda Boyle, Nannie Marshall; Those confirmed were Mrs. Jennie Reissel, Miss Daisy D. Sims, Miss Elizabeth Stobaugh, Mrs. Nannie Smith, Annie P. Taylor, Mrs. Robert Jessie Thomas, Stonewall Jackson Geroutte, and Eugene Eberle.
On February 19, 1890, Bishop Garrett preached and said Eveningn Prayer.
On February 20, 1890 Bishop Garrett administered Holy Communion.
On April 16, 1890 Bishop Garrett was summoned by telegram to Honey Grove to officiate at the church for the burial of Albert A. Smith was born in Welcox County, Alabama, July 12, 1847 and died April 16, 1890 of pneumonia. St. Mark's Church was crowded to its utmost capacity by those anxious to testify their respect for this good man, useful citizen and earnest Christian.
On April 22, 1891 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and united Arthur P. Henderson and Edna Dailey in marriage and said Evening Prayer later that day.
On May 13 Bishop Garrett appointed James E. Breckeen as warden, R. J. Thomas as secretary and Eugene Eberle as treasurer. The rest of the 7 man vestry would be elected by the congregation.
On May 1, 1892 evening prayer was said the the vicar, the Rev. E. R. Richardson. Bishop Garrett preached and confirmed Miss Jessie Williams and Mrs. Anne Isabel Ryan.
On June 22, 1892 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and baptised Alice Gertrude Rogers and May Dtrelzel Ryan and then confirmed them. On that same day Bishop Garrett united in the church Harry Martain Hill and Elizabeth Stobaugh in marriage.
On February 5, 1893 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and said evening prayer. He preached and baptised Alvin Drennan Ryan, Joseph Bledsoe Ryan, Inez Rue Ryan and Shelby Erwin Ryan.
On November 2 Bishop Garrett went to the Church on St. Mark the Evangelist and united in marriage Eugene Gustave Eberle and Anne Isabel Ryan.
On February 4, 1894, Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and said Evening Prayer and Preached. On February 5 he administered Holly Communion at St. Mark's.
On June 15, 1894 Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove. Evening Prayer was said by the Rev. E. R. Richardson, vicar. Bishop Garrett preached and confirmed 3: Miss May Taylor, Miss Gertrude Taylor and Miss Isabelle Taylor.
On August 21, 1894, Bishop Garrett appointed Mr. Stonewall Gerolte as clerk for the Church of St. Mark the Evangelist.
On February 3, 1895, Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove and said Evening Prayer and preached in St. Marks.
On February 16, 1896, Bishop Garrett said Evening Prayer, preached and confirmed Mrs. Annie Johnson Stephens.
On May 13, 1897, Bishop Garrett appointed A. P. Henderson warden, G. R. Hall secretary and J. A. Thomas treasurer.
On January 16, 1898, Bishop Garrett went to Honey Grove. Evening Prayer was said by the Rev. Mr. Beauchin, rector. Bishop Garrett preached and confirmed Hugh Wood, Lucy Alice Bolton and Lydia May Bolton.
On January 14, 1899 Bishop Garrett went to St. Mark's, preached and confirmed; Mrs. Augusta Ophelia Leeper, Mrs. Louisa Davies Hale, Hugh Eston Williams and Joseph Bates Oram. Baptised: August Ophellia Leeper, Neville Stobaugh Leeper, Alice Augusta Jackson, Mary Alice Jackson, Chester Brooks Jackson and Mary Alena Henderson.
On April 16, 1899, Bishop Garrett appointed A. P. Henderson warden, R. J. Thomas treasurer and J. E. Breckeen secretary.
On July 28, 1900 Bishop Garrett sent to St. Marks and said Morning Prayer.
On February 10, 1901 Bishop Garrett preached in the p.m. and confirmed: Miss Meyers Mamie Marshall, Lucile Mary Saffarans, Stewart Selven Rowen, Laurence Crumbly Bolton and Mrs. Lela S. Rowen.
On March 19, 1902, Bishop Garrett preached and confirmed Horace Greenway and Mrs. Monnette Greensay.
On April 3, 1902, Bishop Garrett issued Lay Reader's Licence to Horace W. Greenway and Hugh Wood.
On March 8, 1903, Bishop Garrett preaches in St. Marks and confirmed: Eddageneive Boyle, Ada Hampton Galbraith, Mary Elizabeth Jackson, Sallie Elizabeth Stephens and Elizabeth Eva Stephens.
On February 7, 1904, Bishop Garrett administered Holy Communion and preached.
On February 3, 1907, Bishop Garrett preached in St. Mark's and on February 4 he administered communion.
On April 12, 1907, Bishop Garrett appointed A. P. Henderson warden, J. E. Breckeen secretary and R> J. Thomas treasurer.
On May 15, 1908 Bishop Garrett appointed Robert W. Mortimore lay reader.
On June 21, 1908 Bishop Garrett preached celebrated Holy Communion and confirmed Arthur P. Henderson, Jr., Ralph Charles Fein, Margaret Fein and Leo George Fein.
On August 1, 1909. Bishop Garrett said the Litany, preached and confirmed Charles Leander Wood.
On January 23, 1910, Bishop Garrett preached - no candidates for confirmation.
On March 12, 1910, Bishop Garrett preached, celebrated communion (choral) and baptised Anne Elizabeth Ware. He confirmed Mary Wells, Katherine Allen and Dorothy Allen.
On March 10, 1912, Bishop Garrett preached, celebrated Holy Communion and confirmed a large class: May Fein, Mary Hayne, Augustus W. Laws, George W. Wells and Mrs. Augustus Laws. Also Mrs. George W. Wells and Charles L. Wood.
In 1913, there was no visit by Bishop Garrett - candidates for confirmation went to Paris.
On August 1, 1914, Bishop Garrett confirmed Robert J. Pyron, Fulton W. Ware, Hampton Sidney Williams and F. L. Fein.