A HISTORY OF ALL SAINTS PARISH -- On her name and properties
All Saints Parish had its beginning as St. Paul’s Mission in 1840. By 1842, it had been dropped from the records as a mission. Through the untiring efforts of Mississippi’s first Bishop, William Mercer Green, the church in Grenada was admitted at the 43rd Diocesan Council under the name of St. Luke’s in 1870. The Rev. David S. Goodloe was the first minister.On April 24, 1870, the name of the church was changed to Grace Chapel. The present church property was purchased and a frame church was ready for services by November 1, 1870. At the Diocesan Council of 1873, the name of the church was changed from Grace Chapel to All Saints as it remains today. As a result of the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878, one half of the congregation died. Many memorials remain in the church from that terrible period, e.g. the Rose Window which is dedicated “to the children who died in the Yellow Fever Epidemic.”
By order of the Vestry in 1899, the frame church, which had served the congregation for 19 years, was torn down and the present brick church was built on the same site and along the same lines as the old building, using some of the materials from the previous church. It was consecrated on April 27, 1890. Most of the furniture and windows were re-used from the old building.
The pews now in use were installed in April, 1905. Soon after, in 1908, a water powered Pilcher manual organ was installed replacing the old reed organ. The present organ was installed in 1974 by means of a sizable bequest left by Alma M. Farnham. The original exposed pipes remain today.In 1915, the present sacristy was added on the south wing for Sunday School space. The interior of the church was renovated in 1919-1922. In 1949, All Saints became Grenada’s first air conditioned church. The following year, the same family donated the cathedral lights now in use. In 1970, the church was again restored, receiving a new roof, interior refinishing, side steps, metal roof crosses, and a complete exterior brick restoration. In 1948 the F. T. Gerards donated a dwelling on 1070 Line Street to be used as a Rectory. This allowed the existing Rectory which had been constructed in 1874 immediately south of the church to be used as a Parish House. The building served the Parish well and was enlarged in 1956. Then, on July 16, 1973, the Vestry voted to remove the old Parish House and construct a two story brick Parish House which would connect to the church building. This also was made possible through the generous bequest of Alma M. Farnham. The new building was dedicated on April 25, 1976. Since the mid-1970’s, the Parish House has undergone two partial renovations, again thanks to the Farnham Fund. Most recently, in 2010 and 2011, the vestry pursued much needed renovations to the upstairs Sunday School areas, the foyer and library, the church offices, restrooms and kitchen.
Since 1948, All Saints Parish has owned a series of houses which have served as the Rectory, among them were houses on Robin Road, Forrest Hill Drive and Oakwood Drive. The current Rectory at 33 Oak Meadow Drive was purchased in October 2012.
In the early 1970’s All Saints Parish purchased two houses and lots directly across the street and behind the church and Parish House. One house was removed and the other was used for a temporary church school while the new facility was being built. After the new building was occupied, the temporary parish house was removed. This property is adjacent to the old Lizzie Horn Elementary School, now the Grenada Adult Education Center, and is maintained by the church. At a later date, the house on the south end of that property was purchased and currently houses Little Saints Preschool.
In 2000, a committee of the vestry was appointed to promote and develop a Columbarium and Memorial Garden. Thus, a Columbarium was established the south wall of the church building and surrounded by a Memorial Garden where cremains may be interred in the Columbarium or scattered in the garden. Thus, the saints of God – the living and the dead – dwell and dance on the grounds at All Saints to this day.