The first Holy Communion service of the Episcopal Church in Beaumont was held in 1877 after a group of Episcopalians living in the city petitioned the Right Reverend Alexander Gregg, D.D., the first Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, for guidance on organizing a mission.
First named the Mission of the Good Shepherd, the name of the congregation was changed by the Vestry to St. Mark’s in 1880. Services were held in Temperance Hall until 1881 when property was purchased at the corner of Orleans and Forsythe streets, and a small woodframed structure was erected at the location in 1899, the year after St. Mark’s officially became a parish.
As the church continued to grow, it once again found its facilities inadequate and, in 1913, property was purchased at the corner of Pearl and Calder Streets. A parish house was completed in 1915, and services were held on the upper floor (in what is now Payne Hall) until 1942 when the church building was completed. The Sunday School building was added in 1954 followed by the Gilbert Building and columbarium in 1998.
The founders of St. Mark’s were people of vision, determination, and most importantly, of unwavering faith. That same vision, determination and faith are still important ingredients in the life of the parish as we seek to devote ourselves “to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.”