St. John's Episcopal Church
A current image of the church and how it appears today.
An older image of the church after construction.
Door decorated for Christmas.
Stained glass window behind the altar.
Stained glass window facing Main Street.
The community garden.
Backstory and Context
St. John’s Episcopal Church located in Marion dates back to May 24, 1881. However, it was not the first Episcopal Church in McDowell County. Bishop Theodore B. Lyman wanted to see an Episcopal Church in the county seat so in 1881 he sent Reverend Charles T. Bland to McDowell County to serve to found a church in Marion. During the first two years, the services were held in private homes and other churches.
In June 1882, a plot of land was purchased for twenty five dollars and this land still holds the church today. In April 1883, construction on the church began and the original building design was based upon a plan book by Richard Upjohn, whom was the designer of Trinity Church in New York. The very first service was held on Thanksgiving day in 1883, but the construction wasn't fully completed until 1886.
The church consists of two very special stained glass windows. The one behind the altar depicting St. John the Scribe was imported from Munich, Germany. In 1899, Albert and Charlotte Walker Blanton were married by Rector Charles Wingate. The Blanton family gave the stained glass window depicting St. John the Scribe approximately 25 years later after the marriage took place. The second piece of stain glass faces Main Street was dedicated in 1978 in memory of Silas Walker Blanton. The windows design combined a theme both personal and biblical taken from a Morning Prayer Canticle and Psalm 148, “A Song of Creation” and includes mountains and hills, green things, waters, fish (whales), quail, and dogs.
In spring of 2014 St. John’s approved Martha Zimmerman’s proposal to develop a Community Garden. This garden would be able to provide food to the Martha Simmons Food Pantry. Today the church offers worship service on Sundays and Bible study on Wednesday.
. St. John Episcopal Church. Accessed September 16th 2019. http://www.stjohnsepiscopalmarionnc.org/index.php.
. St. Johns Episcopal Facebook Business Page. Accessed September 16th 2019. https://www.facebook.com/stjohnsepiscopalmarionnc/.