Brief History

St. Stephen Episcopal Church
St. Stephen stained glass window Our worshiping community was first established - meeting in a hotel - in 1866, only seven years after Oregon became a state. St. Stephen's was the first church building in Newport. The cornerstone of that first building to house our congregation was laid in June 1887. In the late 1800s and early 1900s various circuit rider clergy served the congregation - doing services in the "missionary" Yaquina Bay area. Our present church building was constructed in 1941, with remodeling over the years and finally with the existing kitchen, offices, library and new restrooms being added in 1998.

We are home to a couple of treasures: a bell tower and faceted glass windows. As reported in The Lincoln County Record in 1895 "the church tower was furnished with a first class Meneely Bell, made at their celebrated bell tower in Troy, New York." The bell, weighing 322 pounds, was ordered on June 14, 1888 and is still rung before services today. Our faceted glass windows were hand-crafted in the 1970s specifically for our church. They were all given as memorials or remembrances by members of the congregation.

Our congregation was served by a variety of visiting and short-term clergy until 1989. In 1989 The Rev. Susan C. Church - one of the first four or five women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Oregon - was called as vicar for both St. Stephen, Newport, and St. Luke, Waldport and served until her retirement in August 2015. Our current vicar, The Rev. Dr. Judith Jones, continues this joint-church ministry.