History of St. John's
In the mid 1860s, the areas known as Little Silver Point and the village of Parkerville were quite rural and dotted with farms. Little Silver Point was also becoming a summer haven for New York City folks looking to get out of the heat of the city. In those days, residents traveled to attend church at St. George's in Rumson or Trinity Church in Red Bank. Around 1869, people felt the need for a more local place to worship. Traveling to another town wasn't always possible for mid-week activities. Thus, the early residents of Little Silver began holding prayer meetings and Bible study in their homes.
The demand for religious services continued to grow and by 1876, Little Silver's Episcopal community had secured Church approval to build St. John's Chapel on the current site on Little Silver Point Road on land donated by the Lippincott family. Then, in the roll-up-your-sleeves fashion that still characterizes our congregation, the people built St. John's in the manner of a barn raising. The first service was held on September 10, 1876 in the new Gothic Victorian stick style chapel.
For the first 75 years, St. John's Chapel operated under the aegis of other local parishes. In 1958, we became St. John's Church with our own rector and a vote in Diocesan affairs. Through the years, our church has been lovingly tended by our members and our clergy. We step up to the plate when action is needed. We strive to emulate Christ by embracing all people and by embracing change (however difficult it might be) when it's the right thing to do.
Here are some of our major milestones:
1869 - Residents of Little Silver Point and Parkerville begin holding prayer meetings and Bible studies in their homes
1876 - St. John's Chapel is built and first service is held
1876 - St. John's Chapel operates as part of Trinity Red Bank
1885 - St. John's Chapel becomes part of St. George's, Rumson
1902 - St. John's becomes a mission parish of Christ Church, Shrewsbury
1929 - Original Parish Hall was built
1945 - Lippincott family donated the land where the current rectory would be built
1958 - St. John's became a full-fledged parish with its own rector and a vote in Diocesan affairs
1959 - Rectory and expansion of Parish Hall were completed
1971 - Women and girls were admitted to the Acolyte Guild
1974 - The Education Building was completed, providing a home for what became St.John's Nursery School
1976 - St. John's year-long centennial celebration and introspection
1981 - St. John's accepted its first female seminarian; women were invited to be ushers
1982 - St. John's Memorial Garden (columbarium) was built and dedicated
1990 - St. John's Church named to the New Jersey and Federal register of historic places
2014 - When the State of NJ legalized same-sex marriage, Reverend Mark Van Sant officiated at the marriage of two beloved parishioners during our Sunday mass, followed by a reception in the parish hall
2015 - St. John's called its first female rector, the Reverend Valerie Tolocka Redpath