A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR PARISH
On Sunday, April 28, 1957, a group of visionary Episcopalians met at the Crane-Longley Funeral Home on Northwest Highway at Abrams Road. Twenty-three adults and seven children from the Church of the Incarnation were present as they discussed the need for a new church to minister to the growing area of North Dallas. With a sense of mission, sixteen of these communicants petitioned The Rt. Rev. Avery Mason for status as a mission to be known as the Church of the Ascension. Bishop Mason endorsed their request and the Church of the Ascension officially began its ministry to the people of North Dallas.
Crane Longley Funeral Home Chapel
Initially, the mission met in the Funeral Home. In March of 1958, it moved to the Agnes Baldwin School on Walnut Hill Lane at Hillcrest where it met for several months as the property was acquired. In July of 1958, the mission left the school to move into its first property located on the Southwest corner of Central Expressway and Meadow Road. A month later, the first vicar was appointed by the bishop to serve the Church of the Ascension.
The first actual home of Ascension was an old farm at Meadow Road and the Expressway. At first the mission was reluctant to purchase it because the price seemed too high and the location was "too far out in the country." Unable to find anything better the vestry agreed a year later to purchase this property which had increased in price! The farmhouse was converted into a church and the outbuildings into classrooms and occupied in July of 1958.
By November of 1963, the vestry felt a change in location was in order and negotiations began. By September of the next year arrangements had been made to sell the southwest corner property for a very good profit and new property was purchased on the east side of Central just north of Meadow Road. Here a new building was erected and on Easter of 1965 the church occupied its new home.
Two years later, at the annual meeting, the Diocese of Dallas was petitioned to grant status as a parish. As of May 11, 1967, this was granted. However, financial reversals coupled with a loss of membership led the parish to revert to mission status in December 1973. By September of 1975, the mission had grown sufficiently to warrant status as a parish again. A new parish hall was erected without a mortgage in 1976. As commercial buildings encompassed the church's sites, the vestry began to explore the possibility of relocation. Never one to let the attachment of familiar buildings stand in the way of the church's mission to the community, the property on Central Expressway was sold, again for a very nice profit, and a new lot on Greenville Avenue about a mile north of Meadow Road was purchased. On June 20, 1982, the last service in the church on the Expressway was held and in the afternoon the building was secularized by The Rt. Rev. A Donald Davies, who then broke ground for the new building.
Temporarily meeting in the first phase building, the congregation watched as their new edifice rose to the greater glory of God and waited eagerly for its completion, consecration, and dedication by Bishop Davies on Saturday, August 6, 1983.