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Our History

Epiphany, A Well Named Church

A number of false starts occurred before there was a Church of the Epiphany. The first Episcopal service in South Haven was held in 1868 by J. Rice Taylor, Rector of Grace Church, Holland. More services took place at irregular intervals, in various venues including in community literary buildings and on farms. 


In 1898, Bishop George D. Gillespie authorized a mission under the name Church of the Epiphany and regular services were held on the third Sunday of each month in South Haven. The mission was admitted into the diocese in June 1899, and in October, Rev. Woodford P. Law took up residence in South Haven and began to hold regular services. A Sunday School followed. Ground was broken for a church on October 18, 1902. Bishop Gillespie laid the cornerstone in April 1903. 


Epiphany moved forward. The mortgage was burned in 1920, Bishop McCormick consecrated the church, and the Church of the Epiphany first appeared designated as a parish. In 1929, a Parish House was added to the existing structure—these areas are now known as the Parish Hall and Upper Room. The basement was partitioned for Sunday School classrooms.


In a preview of things to come, Gerald McKenzie was elected diocesan president of the Young People’s Fellowship in 1939; two years later Senior Warden George Lever was recognized as a civic leader.

The church plant was completed in 1965 with construction of The Chapel of the Holy Innocents, later designated as a Worship Center, and on June 9, 1991, the Memorial Garden was dedicated. Guidelines were established for parishioners wishing to be buried in the Memorial Garden.


A schism occurred in 2007 when then-rector Andrew Gross departed the Church of the Epiphany, taking eighty percent of the congregation with him, over theological differences with The Episcopal Church.


The remnant of seventeen members held on, determined to rebuild the parish. A new rector was called and the Church of the Epiphany experienced an epiphany. 


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry proclaimed a new mission for The Episcopal Church, to go out into the world and meet people where they were. With this inspiration, the Church of the Epiphany began a program of radical welcoming that welcomed all comers, held a weekly brunch after the Sunday Holy Eucharist that also welcomed all comers, and set out on a program of community engagement. Epiphany offered community-wide ecumenical services during Advent and Lent plus a weekly Healing Service. Epiphany opened its Searching Spirits’ Book Club to all, and hosted multiple weekly yoga offerings. Members of the parish engaged in social action in South Haven’s Ward One and volunteered in a local food bank. And the parish, reborn, grew. 

About Us

Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself on the journey of life and faith, you are welcome here!

The Church of the Epiphany welcomes all individuals seeking God’s love, and keep our doors open to every soul seeking to welcome Jesus into their hearts. We invite you to join us for Sunday Holy Eucharist at 10:30 am.

Our church stands as a beacon of hope in South Haven, Michigan. We are a place of acceptance, peace and joy to all who are moved to join us. Our church family consists of community members of different ages and backgrounds coming together to worship and serve together. Get in touch to find out more or join us for a service.


Epiphany's 2024 Vestry

Vestry: a meeting of parishioners for the conduct of parochial business.

Marti Fritz, Senior Warden

Mary Moore, Junior Warden

Diana DeNooy-Aguirre, Treasurer

Patti Ebright, Secretary

Michelle Reineck
Marla Zwolan

Charles Ippel
Steve Flood
Linda Lemke

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