Our History

Over 125 Years of History

The Church, and particularly Saint Andrew’s, are people in relationships-not artifacts, architecture or even actions such as kneeling, singing, or genuflecting. Since 1891 a large cross-section of our community have called Saint Andrew’s home.

It all began when three women founded an ecumenical Sunday School in South Greensboro, then considered separate from Greensboro. They met first in private homes, then in various public rooms in local stores. As women could not legally make contracts or hold church offices at that time, their husbands were appointed as the officers of the new mission.

By 1893 the mission became a self-supporting parish. A building was erected on the corner of Lee (now Gate City Blvd.) and Arlington Street. As the City grew west, the church moved with it-building and all! The little frame American Gothic building was dismantled and reassembled on Sycamore Street where the government center is now.  Much of the furnishings of the current chapel are from that building. In particular, the altar was a gift to St. Andrew’s from the Church of the Incarnation, a mission of Trinity Wall Street in New York City.

By 1903, St. Andrew’s had installed Greensboro’s first pipe organ and vested choir. A vested choir reflected our oneness rather than any need to be fashionable!  

The Ladies Aid Society earliest minutes indicate preparation for the Bazaar, an annual event said to be the oldest church Bazaar in Greensboro. It is a gathering and uniting activity for the parish and community as a portion of the proceeds are dedicated to outreach activities and community organizations.

In the 1930’s the Rev. Gene Vache had a vision of a church located on a hill where the steeple could be seen over all of Greensboro. We owned a new property and had blueprints for a new stone church. But as we waited for the new building to begin, the older building aged and deteriorated. Broken chairs fed the furnace in lieu of coal some Sundays!

Even before the move into the new space in 1948, St. Andrew’s had a Sunday evening youth organization. Known as the Young People’s Service League.  It attracted teens who enjoyed the opportunity to socialize and participate in community service.

After the war, inflation devoured the building fund and dictated a fast build. The original plans were sold to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and the colonial style brick building was built on the corner of Tremont and West Market Streets.

Rapid growth in the 1950’s led to the need for a larger worship space. It was felt that seating for 300 was the optimal size, allowing for the parish priest to know all of its parishioners. The Rev. Carl Herman in the 1940’s desired a chancel spacious enough to enable every teenage boy in the congregation to serve as an acolyte every Sunday (girls were not yet allowed to serve as they do now).  A later Capital Campaign allowed for much needed upgrades and improvements. 

Through it all, though, St. Andrew’s has been defined not by its building but by its commitment to worship and service.

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