Our History

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Saint Stephen's originated in the home of a family in Waretown in the early 1930's. 

The Holy Innocents Chapel at Waretown was born as requests were made of a retired Priest from the Diocese of Long Island named Reverend Colin Walker, to baptize people in the area.  Evening prayer services were held at a home and with growth a mission was organized.  When permission was received from the Bishop, the group, with assistance  from Reverend Walker and Holy Innocents, Beach Haven, rented a building that was converted into a Chapel and here regular services were held.  Funds were soon raised to build a church and St. Stephen's first church was dedicated on January 4, 1937.  Reverend Walker continued his ministry in Waretown until 1940.  

From 1940 until 1955 St. Stephen's was served by Reverends J. Mervin Pettit, Samuel E. Purdy and Clarence Scholl. In 1955 it was necessary to move to a larger building and the church bought the property where it resides today.  In 1961 The Reverend Canon William H. Paul came to serve St. Stephen's.  St. Stephen's became a parish in 1965.  A new church was erected in 1965 and the old church became the parish hall. 

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 Canon Paul served as Rector until 1987.  During his time at St. Stephen's the church grew and the parish practiced much outreach into the community.  Our Thrift Store and Food Bank are two examples still thriving and a third is our Good Samaritan House, a small house on the property that houses men in transition in their lives. We also have a thriving Sunday school program.  A Memorial Garden and Columbarium were built to provide a place of final rest for the  parishioners.  During Canon Paul's tenure St. Stephen's , Waretown shared the ministry of Holy Spirit, Tuckerton and in the founding of Saint Stephen's, Whiting. 

In 1988 The Reverend Austin B. Murray was called as Rector.  A building program was begun and the walls of the church were expanded, seating was increased and a new parish hall was constructed, including office space, a large kitchen and classrooms.  The old parish hall became the Thrift Store and was relocated to the southwest corner of the property.  Reverend Murray served as Rector until 2008.  One of his last acts before leaving was burning our mortgage. 

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In September 2010, Saint Stephen's welcomed The Reverend Terry Martin as our Rector. 

The windows of saint stephen's

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The windows along the side aisles of the Church present an expanse of glass 55 feet long and is divided into 23 windows. The artist’s conception is of 23 separate windows, each with a border and a shield bearing a symbol with a religious motif. The total of 46 designs include the apostles, other Saints, the seasons of the Church year and the seven Sacraments of the Episcopal Church.

The 23 windows are tied into one long design by flowing ribbons of colored bands, undulating for the entire 55 feet. The ribbons lead the eye from the lower corner at the rear of the Church to rise at the Altar and toward the Cross. The significance is that, while we are each a person with strong individual characteristics, we are all tied together in God’s love for us. 

The undulating ribbons also suggest the motions of the sea, so close at hand. All the lines in the windows, except the borders, are freehand curves. This is in direct contract with the architecture of the building .

The glass itself was hand-blown in England, Germany, France and the United states. It is cut and leaded without the benefit of paint. The design of the shield, however, is painted on, then the glass is fired to a high degree of heat, baking the color into the glass permanently. This is true “stained glass.”

The predominating color is red, representing God’s love for man and the blood of the martyred Saints. The colors above the red are sky colors, light pastels, blues and whites and the reds of sunrise and sunset, of storms and rainbows. The colors below are earth colors, darker blues and greens, oranges and yellows, water and earth.

Purple stands for royalty, green for spring and triumph of live over death, blue for heavenly love, white for innocence of soul, yellow and orange for the warmth of the sun.

 Window No. 1—St. Stephen 

Given to the Glory of God by Father Paul

Window No. 2—St. Mark 

Given in Memory of Teller M. Seeland (1882-1962),

by Chaplain & Mrs. A.D. Seeland & Family

Window No. 3—St. Luke 

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by The Rebele and Fitzpatrick Families

Window No. 4—St. Paul 

Given in Prayerful Thought of my wife, Alice, by John E. Selser

Window No. 5—St. Peter

Given in Memory of Peter & Henriette Rose by Mr. and Mrs. George L. Rose

Window No. 6—St. Mary 

Given to the Glory of God by Father Paul

Window No. 7—Agnus Dei 

Given in Memory of Anna Dolecki, Catherine & Lester Nahrebre, 

by Mr. & Mrs. Henry Nahrebne

Window No. 8—St. Andrew

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by Mr & Mrs. Morris A. Hulsizer

Window No. 9—Baptism 

Given in Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Letts and Children,

by Ruth L. and LeRoy Corliss

Window No. 10—Trinity

Given in Memory of Their Parents by Lela and William Chandler

Window No. 11—St. James 

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by Grace and Robert Martin Jr. & Robert III,

by Mr. & Mrs. Henry Nahrebne

Window No. 12—Confirmation 

Given in Memory of Betty Strong (1918-1919) by Mr. & Mrs. William Strong.

Window No. 13—Cross & Crown 

Given in Memory of Their Beloved Parents by Shirley & Vernon Sohner

Window No. 14—St. John

Given in Memory of J. Mervin Pettit, Priest by Rhonda & Edward Pettit

Window No. 15—Marriage 

Given in Memory of Frederick W. Jenkin by Ruth Jenkin

Window No. 16—Alpha & Omega

Given in Memory of Frank Matthew Uehlein & Eleanor Christie Uehlein,

by Mr. & Mrs. Donald Uehlein  

Window No. 17—St. Philip 

Given in Memory of Calvin Charles Hoffman by the Hoffman Family

Window No. 18—St. Barnabas 

Given to the Glory of God by Mr. & Mrs. Laurence Walsh

Window No. 19—St. John Baptist 

 Given in Memory of Beloved Parents, Caroline and Charles Ulrich,

by Edna and James Druiett

Window No. 20—St. Bartholomew 

Given with Thanksgiving by Emily & Ronald Matthews

Window No. 21—St. Michael

Given in Memory of Herman, Ida and Bertha Weiblen, 

by Eugene & Pauline Weiblen

Window No. 22—All Saints

Given in Loving Memory of her beloved husband, William Henry King,

by his wife, Eleanor.

Window No. 23—St. Cecelia

Given in Thanksgiving by Olga Paul 

Window No. 24—St. Francis

 Given in Memory of Loved Ones by Mr & Mrs. Morris A. Hulsizer

Window No. 25—Advent 

Given in Memory of Fletcher & Lela Stillwell, 

by Grace & Forrest Reifsneider and Craig Stillwell.

Window No. 26—Christmas

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by the Harwood Eric Fish Family.

Window No. 27—St. Thomas

Given in Memory of John H. S. Thomas, Jr. and Anna A. Dust Thomas,

by Dorothea A. Thomas Seeland and T. Arthur Seeland.

Window No. 28—Epiphany

Given to the Glory of God by the John J. Baita Family

Window No. 29—Holy Unction 

Given in Memory of Mary (Mae) Kozak by Anthony & Richard Kozak

Window No. 30—St. Matthew 

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by Leon J. Racioppi Family

Window No. 31—Lent

Given in Memory of Mr. & Mrs. M. J. Hayden and Mr. & Mrs. John Kirkpatrick,

by Helene and Andrew Kirkpatrick

Window No. 32—Holy Week 

Given in Memory of Abbie E. Welles & Peter L. McIntyre, USN Ret,

by Robert L. Hanson, Sr. son of Abbie and Mary, Daughter of Peter  

Window No. 33—St. James 

Given in Memory of Loved Ones by James and Marye Sonia

Window No. 34—Good Friday

Given in Memory of Bette T. Harvey by William and Family

Window No. 35—Easter 

 Given in Memory of the Letts & Brown Families by Floyd & Evelyn Brown

Window No. 36—St. Jude 

Given in Memory of Alexander McDade by his daughter, Margaret Ward

Window No. 37—Ascension

Given in Memory of Frederick Schulmeister & Elizabeth Vajada

By Margaret Schulmeister & Gloria Davis. 

Window No. 38—Pentecost 

Given in Memory of her husband, Oscar A. Olson by his wife, Anna L. Olson

Window No. 39—St. Simon 

Given in Memory o Mr. & Mrs. William B. Ward by their son, David Ward.

Window No. 40—Holy Orders

 Given in Memory of Gladys Mae Parsons by Helen & Osborne Budd

Window No. 41—Penance 

Given in Thanksgiving and in Memory of Parents, Louis Charles & Meta Gerken,

by Helen Louise Maria

Window No. 42—St. Matthias

Given in Memory of her husband, Joseph Herrmann by Helena Herrmann

Window No. 43—Holy Eucharist 

Given in Loving Memory of Theodore & Pauline Schifflin ,

by Eugene & Pauline Weiblen

Window No. 44—Prayer Book 

Given in Loving Memory of Martha Southgate by Husband and Children

Window No. 45—St. Vincent 

Given in Memory of Margaret E. & Isaac King and Harriet & Robert Strong,

by Mr. & Mrs. William Strong, Sr.

Window No. 46—Hand Of God

Given in Memory of Alberta & Robert H. Roan by their Daughters & Grandson


The Story of Saint Stephen

Check out this great video