A brief history of St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s has been part of the Napa community for 160 years despite war, the Great Depression, earthquakes and fire. We are a vibrant and active parish - a warm and welcoming community of committed Christians who like each other and enjoy worshiping and working together to fulfill Jesus Christ’s Great Commandment to love God and to love and serve our neighbors as ourselves.
Our parish was established in 1858, and our first church was completed in August of 1861. In 1903 a nearby house was purchased for use as the rectory. With strong parish growth, the need for a new church became clear in the 1920s. A successful funding campaign was launched, and the newly completed church was dedicated on January 31, 1932. Beautiful music has always been important to us, and in April of 1989 we dedicated a new twenty-seven-rank Casavant pipe organ to the glory of God.
In 1958, on our 100th anniversary, we launched a project to replace the parish hall. The old one was torn down and replaced with a new complex of parish hall, Sunday school classrooms, and parish offices. On Pentecost Sunday in 1992 we dedicated a beautiful stained glass Ascension Window, facing Third Street. This stunning window exemplifies Christ’s command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
Napa is earthquake country, and in August of 2014, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook the city violently and did extensive damage to our church, including our beautiful stained glass windows. Aided by donations from all across the country, we repaired the damage and reinforced the building to mitigate damage from future earthquakes. Then the wildfires of 2017 came, and while the city and the church were spared, some of our parishioners tragically lost their homes.
Thirty-one rectors have served St. Mary’s during our long history. Our most recent Rector retired in November of 2017 after 34 years with us. While we have missed him, our Interim Rector has done an excellent job preparing us for our next step. We are now ready to live into the next chapter of our rich history by calling a new rector who will work with us to take St. Mary’s to a still higher level of Christian love and outreach.