Some Significant Historical Times at Grace Church
In our more than 150-year history, the beautiful building that we call home has seen generations come and go, additions to the campus, vandalism and even fire. But with every birth, death, addition, rector, and even fire, comes the promise of new life. And in all of this time, its fair share of wedding receptions, baptismal celebrations, funeral luncheons, and the fellowship that we have all come to cherish at Grace.
2013 ~ Fire and Rebuilding of Parish Hall
Following the Bishop's Apostolic Visitation and a meeting of the Cattaraugus-Chautauqua Deanery at Grace Church on October 20, 2013, fire erupted in the kitchen of the unoccupied building that totally destroyed the parish hall, kitchen, classrooms and offices, and restrooms, and severely smoke damaged the sactuary. The rebuilding effort was a three-year effort, with the new church campus being dedicated by Bishop R. William Franklin on October 16, 2016. [photos]
2007 ~ New Steeple Cross
While having the roof replaced, the roofers discovered the Celtic cross on the steeple had rusted through and would have to be removed. They removed it and the Amish were commissioned to make a new one. On November 4, 2007, the new stainless steel cross was blessed following the service and later that afternoon was placed on the steeple by one of our faithful parishioners his son and his grandson. This exact replica of the original cross shines for all to see and is just one more small part of her history.
[Note: the original cross is now in the Prayer Garden adjacent to the Parish Hall]
2005 ~ Refurbishment of the Rose Window
The Rose Window, which was a memorial when the church was built, is the focal point and the first thing you see as you enter from the Washington Street side. This window takes up a large portion of the rear Chancel Wall. Over the years, however, it had begun to deteriorate and in 2005, thanks to a very generous gift, it was removed and refurbished.
1978 ~ Choir Loft and Pipe Organ Installed
In 1978, a Choir Loft was added over the Washington Street entrance and a pipe organ acquired to enhance the service greatly. The new pipe organ was dedicated Sunday, September 24, 1978 by the Very Rev. Richard B. Duncan. He was joined by the choir of St. Stephen's Church in Olean and organist Max Sue in a service of evensong. A concert of sacred music was played by Brian A. Bogey, noted Jamestown organist and director of the TeDeuum Singers of the Jamestown First Lutheran Church.
Above this Choir Loft is the Star of David Window.
1970 ~ Death of Father MacEachern
The sudden and tragic death of the Very Rev. Ernest MacEachern who had done so much to rebuild the parish membership. Father "Mac" accomplished a great deal in his fourteen year ministry at Grace Church and left an indelible mark on the community as well as the parish.
1958 - 1971 ~ The Era of Construction and Growth
In 1957, plans for the addition of a Parish Hall were approved by the vestry. Construction of the parish hall, a new garage, rectory kitchen, new wiring and new furnaces. A four classroom addition to the parish hall for Sunday School was the next major project completed. Then structural damage from local flood necessitated a new foundation for the church. Under the church was excavated to create a long desired undercroft.
1948 ~ Acolyte Guild Organized
Under the leadership of Leigh B. Fargo, Lay Reader, who acted as instructor, an Acolyte's Guild was organized.
1916 ~ Construction of the Rectory
The rectory of Grace Church, which stands next door to the church was built in the spring of 1916 and was the gift of Capt. I.H. Lyman as a memorial to his son, the late A.R. Lyman. His instructions were to “build it like I was going to live in it myself.” Many vicars and rectors have occupied the rectory through the years.
1880 ~ Installation of Tower Bell
The 1,100-pound tower bell, manufactured by Celebrated Bell Manufacturers in Baltimore, is installed on December 23, 1880.
1879 ~ Construction of Grace Church
in 1879 the property at the comer of Washington and Center Streets was purchased and the building of Grace Church in Randolph began. On July 10,1879, the cornerstone was laid.
On June 1, 1880, the dedication service was presided over by Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe.
1859 ~ Our Beginnings
The first records of the "Protestant Episcopal Church" were recorded on May 30, 1859 in the Odd Fellows Hall in Randolph. It was established by men of vision who felt a great need for worship and to bring others to Christ, commitment to community, and a desire to help others when and wherever needed. They filled their lives by doing just that. Over the next 20 years services were held at the Congregational Church with the Priest from St. Luke's, Jamestown presiding.