A Brief History of All Saints Episcopal Church
All Saints was founded in 1885. A group of laity left the Cathedral with the approval of Bishop Worthingon, and formed a new parish in Omaha. The first rector was Louis Zahner.
In 1891, T.J. Mackay came from building St. Paul’s in Council Bluffs, IA and brought with him James H. Simms as organist.
The first church was replaced in 1907 by a beautiful Tudor Gothic church on the corner of 26th and Dewey in Omaha. Mackey’s sense of church was attuned to the American Catholic ideas represented in William Reed Huntington’s quadrilateral. Simms retired in 1949. All Saints has proved to be consistently innovative and stable over the years, and in 1963 made a bold move to 93rd and Blondo.
A practical catholic identity was furthered by the leadership of Charles L. R. Pedersen, the Rector of All Saints from 1971 to 1992. In 1973, a retreat center was added to the parish facilities. Fr. Michael Tan Creti was hired as the Associate Rector in 1976 to direct this new effort. Fr. Tan Creti, became the eighth Rector of All Saints. Dr. James Johnson became the fifth in position of the organist/choirmaster.
In 1980, Education for Ministry (EFM) joined the parish’s regular offerings and the All Saints Village was established in 1987.
Fr. Tom O’Dell was called as the ninth Rector of All Saints in January of 2005 and retired in May of 2014. The tenth and current Rector of All Saints is Rev. Marisa Thompson. Rev. Marisa officially began her ministry on August 1st, 2015. Dr. Laura Scow was hired as the full time Director of Music Ministries in August, 2008. Dr. Scow is also the current organist at All Saints.
Today, All Saints Episcopal Church is a community that strives to blend catholic, protestant, and evangelical elements in an open community. All Saints is a strong, progressive, and caring Episcopal Church with a rich history, a tradition of leadership, and commitment to its parishioners, to its Diocese, and to its community. All Saints provides the word of God to members who travel from all sections of Nebraska.
Our membership comes from all backgrounds, economic strata, and ethnicity. As the largest church in the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, All Saints has historically taken a leadership role in the Episcopal Church affairs both locally and nationally. Many members of All Saints serve on diocesan committees and boards. Our Ministry of Care program has been a standard that others have adopted. The Diaconal program at All Saints has ordained over 10 Deacons in the last 15 years. We are excited to discern how will lead and serve in the coming years as we become All Saints, the church that feeds people: Soul, Mind, and Body.