People just like you, loved and accepted as we are

Our History

St. Michael and All Angels Church began its long history in 1882 when Jacob R. Ballard, the second black deacon ordained in the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Florida, organized and took charge of the mission congregation under the authorization of J.F. Young.

Six years later, a new church building and the name St Michael and All Angels were given to the mission by Bishop E.W. Weed.

Then the Rev. W.H. Carter, rector of St. John's (Tallahassee) became priest-in-charge of St. Michael. Under his leadership and with the assistance of President D.T. Tucker (FAMU, and the first St. Michael's lay reader) Sunday School and regular services were held. The parochial school was organized. Over the years, the enrollment grew to 200 students, many of whom became leading citizens in the Tallahassee community.

Throughout its early history, the church had no regularly assigned priest. In fact, it was not until 1947, sixty years after it's founding that St. Michael had a permanently assigned minister. Prior to that time, priests from nearby churches assisted at St. Michael's. Notably among the assisting clergy was the Reverend Dr. W.H. Carter of St. John's Episcopal Church, Tallahassee. It was Father Carter who organized the parochial school. Following Father Carter, other priests who served the church were: the Reverend James K. Satterwhite, the Reverend Bassion, Father John Brown, the Reverend E.S. Shirley, the Reverend J.H. Jones, the Reverend Robert L. Gordon, Father Fred Hunter and the Reverend J.H. Cole.

The year 1947 is important to St. Michael not because it marked the beginning of continuous ministry, but it was the year that the Reverend Father David Henry Brooks came to Tallahassee as Vicar of the church and Episcopal Chaplain at Florida A&M University. Father Brooks' many achievements in his ministry at St. Michael's are noteworthy. Significant among these was the construction of a chapel, which was to become the Parish Hall (Parish Canterbury House). Moreover, Father Brooks led the church to increased membership and presented scores of classes to the Diocesan Bishop for confirmation. Student members of the church were from all sections of the state, the nation and abroad. Father Brooks' leadership in the community was well known; he was in the forefront of civil rights efforts and was known as a counselor and friend to students, faculty and the Tallahassee community at large. The influence of Father Brooks so impacted the congregation that in April 1995 they rededicated the Parish Hall and named it in his honor, the David Henry Brooks Hall.

The Rev. James H. Hall became Vicar of St. Michael and All Angels Church, June 15, 1974. Among his successes are: encouraging and revitalizing existing groups; initiating the Friday Night Bible Study Group; putting emphasis upon individual counseling; stimulating broad lay participation and leading St. Michael to become a parish in 1972.

The Reverend Vincent P. Harris became the second rector of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in 1980. His vision and leadership promised a glorious future of worship, love and service.

The Reverend Vernon Douglas became the third Rector in 1984. He was called to a new ministry in 1986.

In 1988 the Reverend Carl C. Murray became the fourth Rector. Father Murray shared many gifts with the members of St. Michael and the congregation was sadden by his retirement in 2000. Father Murray continues to be a member of the St. Michael's family.

The Reverend Laughton D. Thomas became the fifth rector of St. Michael and all Angels Church, in 2003. Among his successes were reinstating bible study each week, and organizing the St. Monica chapter of the Daughters of the King. He was able to make the church more visible and active in the Tallahassee community especially through partnerships with other Tallahassee ministries seeking a more just society. These efforts were also aided by his appointment as the first African-American Canon of the Diocese of Florida on January 28, 2005. Father Thomas retired on December 31, 2013.

The Reverend Cal Goodlett served as interim priest as the parish searched for a new rector. Father Goodlett’s interim tenure lasted 44 months during which he encouraged the congregation to be the ministers of the Church and ushered in a period of greater congregational participation in all of the Church’s ministries.

On September 25, 2017 Reverend Hugh Chapman began service as the sixth rector of St. Michael and All Angels and he was installed on January 31st, 2018 by the Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida. He has already initiated plans that will significantly upgrade the facilities of our parish particularly with the Capital Campaign planned.

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