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It has taken over 40 years for us to make the journey from humble beginnings as a Mission with 27 members, to arrive at our present location on Partin Drive in Niceville. On June 7, 1958, the first worship service was help at the Valparaiso City Hall. In 1959 the Rev. Bert Herlong became our first Vicar. Then, in November of 1960, we dedicated the original church built in Valparaiso. In 1963, the Rev. Homer Vanture became our second Vicar. He served until 1968 when the Rev. Sidney Hopson became our third Vicar.

In 1970, the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast was founded and we began work on our new Parish Hall. It was at this time that St. Jude's became a Parish with the required 100 communicants. The Rev. John Wave became our new Rector in 1968 and served until 1981. Our next Rector was the Rev. Bob Mathison and he served our parish until 1985. The Rev. Dave Dabria became our Rector in 1985 and served until our current Rector, the Rev. Arnold Bush joined us in April of 1995.

It was also this year, 1995, that a long range planning team was formed. In September of 1996, under the leadership of the Rev. Bush, the congregation voted to re-locate. The groundbreaking on the current property at Partin Drive took place on March 15, 1998 and the dedication of the new building took place on January 30, 1999. We rejoiced once again on January 30, 2000 when we burned the mortgage of our current building. Presently, this building serves as our Nave but it is only an interim facility and will ultimately become an Activities Building.

The Rev. Edward Robertson answered the call to St. Jude's in September, 2003. During his tenure as rector, St. Jude's hosted the 2004 annual convention of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Over 400 delegates and guests met in Niceville and Fort Walton Beach during the three day convention. Nearly every parishioner contributed time and talents to what has been called one of the most successful conventions in the 36 year history of the diocese. Since that time,through an active strategic planning process, St. Jude's has continued to evolve numerous opportunities for ministry. In the 48 years since the inception of that mission in Valparaiso, St. Jude's has grown into a vital parish of approximately 400 baptized members and 300 communicants. These members are from all area communities, but principally from Niceville, Valparaiso and Bluewater Bay.

St. Jude's History 1958 to 2008 by clicking here.


Mission Statement: We are a community of Christians who:
REACH UP in joyful and celebratory Eucharistic worship,
REACH OUT to invite others to know Christ,
sharing His love REACH IN to become fully
devoted followers of Christ.


St Jude's Episcopal Church | 200 N Partin Dr. Niceville, FL 32578
PH: 850.678.7013 | FX: 850.678.0922 | Email: info@stjudes.us
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