What is now the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration began as a diocesan mission in January 1963 with 13 members meeting under the leadership of The Rev. John Atwell.
The church began meeting at the Superstition Inn and at Apache Junction Elementary School. In December 1963, the first annual dinner was held, with 42 people in attendance. Soon after, five acres were purchased on South Mountain Road, and a new chapel took shape in July 1965. We are a young church by Episcopalian standards, even in Arizona, becoming an official parish of the Diocese of Arizona in 1979.
The Parish House (at that time the vicarage) was built in 1966 by the rector and members of the congregation. In 1988, the Parish Hall was completed with office space, a kitchen, and a large room for gatherings and meetings. In 2001, the rectory was blessed for use as our sanctuary during the construction of our present-day sanctuary.
History of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
The Episcopal Church was founded in the United States in the wake of the American Revolution. The Diocese of Arizona came along a bit later. It was established as part of a missionary jurisdiction in 1865 and became a diocese in 1959.
Bishop Jennifer Reddall is our sixth bishop, and the first woman chosen for that role. She was elected in October 2018 and ordained a bishop on March 9, 2019.
The Episcopal Church is comprised of dioceses in the United States, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. It also includes a convocation of churches, mission congregations, and specialized ministries spread geographically over seven countries in continental Europe.
The Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican Communion, a community of churches with tens of millions of members in more than 165 countries.