Today I went to church at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, where my friend, the Rev. Eric Dudley, is the Rector. I have always respected Eric for his stand for the Gospel and his love of the historic liturgies and forms of the Church. He was on vacation, but another stalwart of the Faith, the Rev. Jim Hampson, one of his assistants, was there. I got to know Jim when I was at Sewanee in seminary when he was the rector of St. Philip’s, Charleston. It was good to see him as he has steadfastly stood for the Biblical Faith for decades.
St. Peter’s formed about three years ago when a large number of people (I believe it was 500+) left the Episcopal Church because of its departure from Biblical Christianity. Some of the men bought a church not far away in downtown Tallahassee, and they began holding services. God has blessed their efforts to stand for Him and they continue to grow with vision, the Spirit, and numbers. Each Sunday they have the following services:
8:00 Quiet Service
9:00 Family Service
11:15 Formal Service (Smells and Bells)
5:00 Contemporary Praise Service (They call it 'Veritas')
I attended the 11:15 Service with incense and sanctus bells (incense is representative of the prayers of the God’s people ascending to heaven – see Mal.1:11, Rev. 5:8 and Ps. 141:2; and sanctus bells are symbolic announcers of the Presence of the Holy Spirit ascending from Heaven on the Bread and Wine at Communion). Although the service was a high, formal service, the liturgy was a contemporary adaptation from the English Book of Common Prayer. The Music was a mix of good hymns, and at communion, there were several praise songs. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Andrew Rowell, a newly ordained minister who is their Associate Rector for Youth and Families. It was good and engaging.
This church is alive. There is a lot going on for the Lord. Many classes and Bible Studies, children and youth ministries, and dynamic parish life ministries. Their current vision is to build their church – quite impressive!!! Check it out at www.steppingoutinfaith.net. St. Peter’s website is www.saint-peters.net.