Nestled for over a century in the picturesque farming community on the outskirts of the City of Montgomery and in the Town of Pike Road, Grace Church now stands in the center of the area’s fast growing eastern corridor. The Church is surrounded by neighborhoods and shopping centers and easily accessible by Interstate Highway 85.
At Grace Episcopal Church, experience the best of both worlds, an open-minded, warm-hearted congregation in a gracious setting of church buildings and gardens that complement the original early nineteenth century worship space — a country church thriving in an urban setting.
The Mt. Meigs area was opened for settlement in 1817. Among the immigrants drawn by the farming opportunities, afforded by the rich Black Belt soil, came a number of Episcopal families from Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
In 1844, newly appointed Alabama Bishop, Nicholas Hamner Cobbs, took an active interest in the area, celebrating monthly and occasional services for this loosely formed congregation of farmers and planters.
Efforts to construct an Episcopal church began with the development of architectural plans for a church, designed in the then popular, rural “Gothic Revival” style. The death of Bishop Cobb in 1861 and the onset of the Civil War put building plans on hold for three decades.
1891- Grace Church is constructed
1893 - Grace Church is chartered as an organized mission, by act of the Diocesan Convention
The church was finally constructed in 1891 on a tract of land along Pike Road. In the spring of that year, Grace Church was chartered as an organized mission. The congregation of 50 signed handwritten Articles of Organization on May 1, 1893.
Through the first half of the 20th century, local families struggled as the economy was battered first by the Great Depression and then, by falling cotton prices. Grace offered regular worship services, comfort and community through these years.
By the 1960’s the tide had changed. Stability and inspiration energized a growing congregation. Mr. Alwyn Vickers provided leadership in the church, first as Deacon and upon ordination, as Vicar of Grace Church, served until his retirement in 1971. The original Parish house was renamed “Vickers Hall” in recognition of his service.
1984 - 1993
Under the leadership of Reverend John Keith Grace thrived, its longstanding “mission” church status receded into history as Grace grew, attracting families from throughout the area and developing strong ministries.
Outreach expanded, with church members traveling to Honduras to help build water infrastructure and serve on health missions. Through the activities of the Youth Group (EYC), and other programs, the youth from Grace emerged as diocesan youth leaders and the church as a whole engaged in interfaith dialogue and ministry.
This time of dynamic expansion provided momentum and direction for the decades to come. As the needs of the community have changed, Grace continues to respond generously through service, participation and financial outreach. Now we stand at a new crossroad. Much of the growth in Montgomery is in the east which brings exciting possibilities for new ministry directions and an even broader vision of ourselves and who we are called to be.
Join us as we, from this place and with one another, strive to live into God’s call to "see and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. Echoing the Prayer Book's affirmation, we seek to do so "with God's help."
1990 Keith hall is constructed
2005 Parish House for Worship, Christian education, study and fellowship is constructed
Gardens and Grounds are expanded with areas for gathering and prayers, children’s play area and Tree House
The primary source of the history of Grace remains John B. Scott, Jr. In Due Time and Season: A History of Grace Episcopal Church (Montgomery,Al: The Black Belt Press. 1994
Grace Loves Laughter
Stories and laughter are as much a part of the community at Grace as sunlight in the gardens.
We invite you to linger for refreshments after the service and share your story with us.
Tour of Garden included.
“Humour is, in fact, a prelude to faith; and laughter is the beginning of prayer …”
“All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”
The Book of Common Prayer, Burial Rite II (1979)
The Cemetery at Grace
In 1984, an acre was acquired north of the church and designated for a cemetery. Within sight of the church, families and individuals have buried their own. The Grace Cemetery is the only Episcopal cemetery in the area.
Visitors are often charmed by the artistic plantings and touches added in memory of loved ones.
Grace Church Cemetery: The cemetery is integrated into the gardens and is available to members of the Episcopal churches in the Montgomery Area Convocation.