Epiphany is a multi-generation Christian community inviting all God’s people to live and worship in the Anglican tradition. We grow through Christian formation, education, fellowship, outreach and liturgical worship.
We are in a special place and a special time serving this corner of Las Vegas & Henderson. We are comprised by so many people from so many different places with so many different talents and gifts who come together, continuing always to build our community. If you are looking for an accepting faith community where you can find your talents and gifts, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany welcomes you.
How the Church in a Suitcase Became the Epiphany Episcopal Church – the story of our founding and growth through 2013
In the summer of 2001, a handful of members of Christ Church in Las Vegas met to talk about forming “Christ Church Green Valley” in order to fulfill the need for an Episcopal Church in the southern valley area. Their dream was to develop a new parish that would serve those needs.
The fall of 2001 started the months and years of being a “Church in a Suitcase”. At least eight moves were made over a five year period that included a library, a mortuary, a police substation, a rehabilitation center, and a middle school. From place to place, they carried all of the altar essentials and service needs in one rolling black suitcase. With clergy support from Christ Church, the group met regularly on Sunday evenings and the sense of a community parish flourished.
In March 2003, the clergy support ended. Soon after, Deacon Sam, along with a dedicated founding couple, gathered the now two-dozen Green Valley members. Sam laid out the challenges facing the new Parish. Everyone agreed – the need for Sunday morning worship and Sunday School were foremost on their minds. It was at this meeting the congregation decided the newly formed and independent Parish deserved its own name. This is how Epiphany Episcopal Church came into being.
In May 2004, Father Mike Annis started regularly ministering with us part-time, and in July, a dedicated parishioner started a “one room Schoolhouse” Sunday School program. The biggest milestone came in October 2004 when our first Senior Warden stood before the Nevada Diocesan Convention and Epiphany was granted Parish status.
As 2005 dawned, Epiphany was blessed with Helen McPeak, another part-time priest. Helen was new to Henderson, having moved here from Northern California, and she embraced and advanced the family and child focus of Epiphany. By spring, the weekly attendance exceeded 40 and we reached the capacity of the rehabilitation center’s community room. This caused another change in venue, and of course, that meant “The Suitcase” came out again.
Epiphany moved in February 2006 to a storefront location on Pecos Road in Henderson. The atmosphere was energized with parishioners and newcomers finding this a welcoming, comfortable, and friendly place.
The official dedication of our Pecos home took place in June 2006, with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offering this sage advice, “Open the doors, welcome everyone, but then go out into the streets and listen; learn the language of the people around you. Be a listener, not a speaker.” 2006 was rounded out by the formation of the Prayer Shawl Ministry and the first annual Christmas Pageant – traditions that are still strong in our Parish.
The years that followed brought growth and the enthusiastic development of ministries and traditional events, including a multiple-classroom Church school, a Holy Week program, a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper (complete with pancake races), and a child-centered Christmas Eve Pageant. These activities and others embody Epiphany’s family and relationship focus. More and more groups formed that were spiritual and social, such as Greet and Eat dinner groups, book club, bible study, and others. Over the years, our music program has grown and changed, at times embracing various combinations of a youth choir, multiple instrumentalists, vocal soloists, pianists, and a choir.
During these years the Parish also experienced a shift in responsibilities. Father Mike reduced his time with Epiphany to take on Priest in Charge duties at neighboring St. Timothy’s, and the Reverend Helen McPeak became our Priest in Charge, with 15 paid hours per week.
Epiphany continued to grow, and our Pecos location began to feel too tight. With land being too expensive, the idea of a permanent church building was considered but abandoned on several occasions for various reasons.
In our first decade, we experienced strong continuous growth and many physical moves to accommodate the Parish. During this time, we maintained consistent membership numbers, though some families moved out or moved on and new families moved in. This stability crossed into our ministries as well, with new small ministries being introduced and championed by individual members.
After many years of greatly appreciated service, Helen felt it was time to move on. Her gifts served Epiphany well over the years. Helen’s departure made room for a new part-time priest to carry on. With her resignation official in August of 2012, we moved into an agreement with Father Mike to serve as our interim Priest in Charge. Our Senior Warden worked diligently to ensure the supply priests working with Father Mike were in a consistent rotation. We enjoyed the service of three regular priests during this time. In the summer of 2013, Father Mike began to face health challenges that prevented him from continuing to serve. In September 2013, Father Dale Augustin was appointed to serve as our Interim Priest in Charge, and in February 2014, Father Mike passed away.
2014 was a pivotal year for Epiphany. Facing a lease renewal looming in March, 2015, we knew we had to make a move. Between 2010 and 2013, we had considered purchasing several different properties, none of which were meant to be. In 2014 after considering numerous properties, we were successful in finding our new permanent church home which includes 11,000 square feet and resides on 7.5 acres of land at the corner of Cactus and Gilespie. Our parish came together with the Diocese and the Episcopal Church Building Fund to exceed our goals and enable us to purchase this property without a bank loan.
To add to our joy and growth, our long search for staff clergy ended when God’s plan brought Father Rick O’Brien to us in the Spring of 2016. His arrival sparked new looks at programming and participation. The future feels unbounded and God’s grace is great, thanks be to God!