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Our Story

Serving the Poplar Bluff Community

Since the early 1900s, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross has been the center of Episcopal worship in the Poplar Bluff area.  The earliest record of Episcopal services in Poplar Bluff is a notation in the diary of then Bishop of Missouri Daniel Tuttle stating he held services here on September 30, 1891. The congregation was formally organized as a mission ten years later with seventeen families participating. In 1951, our Golden Anniversary year, the Diocese accepted our application for full parish status, and in 2001 we celebrated our 100th anniversary.
Our church building is a registered historic site, being the oldest church building in Poplar Bluff in continuous use (since 1903) by the same congregation. The original church building was frame, but about 1915 it was encased in concrete stone face block. In 1999 an ambitious building project was undertaken to enlarge the church, in part due to the generous donations of the estates of Jack and Helen Feeney and Dorris Serafini. The old Parish Hall was converted into a new worship space and a new kitchen, parish hall, nursery, choir room, two classrooms, a library and office spaces for the secretary and rector were also added. The first service was held in the new church on October 9, 2000.The original church was retained intact and is used as a chapel for Morning Prayer and special services. A columbarium was established in 1993.
Available records show Holy Cross has had only twenty priests with the last six covering a span of 53 years. Holy Cross has been instrumental in establishing and assisting missions throughout Southeast Missouri.