St James' Episcopal Church

History of Our Parish

During the later part of the 1890's, establishment of the Naval Station in Indian Head, MD brought an increase in the local population and ultimately St. James’ Church. The first service at St. James’ was held in March of 1903.  The original building was actually the old St. John's Church (Pomonkey) which was dismantled and reconstructed on Raymond Avenue.  In 1918, to the dismay of parishioners, St. James’ Church was traded for two building lots on the corner of Potomac and Strauss Avenue.  The 1920's began rather sadly for Episcopalians in Indian Head, as they had no church, no minister and as a result, became a mission.

For several years, services were held in the local high school and in naval housing.   On November 1, 1921, a new church building on the land at the intersection of Potomac and Strauss Avenues was proposed.  Work began early in 1923. The first service was held on Palm Sunday in 1924.  The vicarage was finished in November of 1932.

Certainly the most imposing and significant piece of church furniture at St. James’ is the main altar and reredos, the creation of the Reverend Canon Arthur B. Rudd, a Canon of the Washington National Cathedral.  He fashioned it for one of the chapels at the Cathedral, but because it was too large for its appointed space, it was donated to St. James’.

The Parish Hall was built and consecrated in January of 1952.  The building loan was repaid, primarily by the women of the church who, for fourteen years, prepared biweekly suppers for the local Lions Club.

Parish status was granted in 1966.

Throughout its history, St. James’ Episcopal Church has been blessed with hard-working, dedicated and faithful servants, both lay and ordained.  These members have served Jesus Christ in their work both within the Church and in the community at large.  With the same Holy Spirit that has always led the church, St. James’ has been given the gifts of its members and the blessing of a century of witness, ministry and life in our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Taken from People of the Promise, revised)