St. Bede's first Eucharist on March 23, 1952
St. Bede's Episcopal Church began as a mission of St. Peter’s Cathedral to the growing northwest area of St. Petersburg. It was formally organized on March 13, 1952 and celebrated their first Eucharist on March 23, 1952 at Woodlawn Elementary School. In July of that year, they received their first Vicar, Fr. Herb, and continued to meet for worship at Woodlawn Elementary until the parish hall was completed on land purchased for the permanent parish facilities. By January, 1953, 146 parishioners were listed as charter members of the congregation. Since that time, ten priests have served as either Vicar, Rector or Assistants at St. Bede’s. Fr. Boyd Carson, the most recent Rector, retired on September 1, 2013, after serving St. Bede’s for almost 31 years.
FULL PARISH HISTORY 1952 to Present
On March 20, 2016 The Reverend Jonathan B. Percival announced his tenure as Priest-in-Charge of St. Bede’s. As Priest-in-Charge, he has responsibility for the worship and pastoral care of the congregation; and is a consultant to the Vestry in their work of leadership. Fr. Percival brings his skills, experience and enthusiasm to St. Bede’s in this phase of congregational life.
"I was born in Afghanistan, of all places! I left at two, though, to spend my childhood mostly in France and Germany with my Foreign Service family. I was curious about God and the Church in High School, but not very active. Nor was I very active at first in college. But God was active with me I guess because by my Senior year, I wanted to be Confirmed, and I wrote my thesis on the sermons of John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s London, way back when.
I went to the General Theological Seminary in New York, after taking a year off school to drive a cab and find out a little about myself, on my own in the urban world. It was Seminary, though, that really helped me find myself and my purpose in life, my vocation, as I came not only to know more about God and the Church, but to know him.
As you know; “to know him is to love him”, and I do." Through so many years of parish ministry. mostly in New Jersey, and now four years as retired priest in residence at St. Boniface on Siesta Key, I have enjoyed the avalanche of blessings that life in His Service brings. Now I look so much forward to sharing these blessings with a wonderful crew of fellow servants, the people of St. Bede’s.
Fr. Bosbyshell and Caroline, you will always be in our hearts at St. Bede’s! Fr. William Bosbyshell, and his wife, Caroline, have been part of St. Bede’s for 16+ years, since Fr. Bill’s retirement. In addition to his vocational work, as a Priest, Fr. Bill is a clinical psychologist and former director of the diocesan counseling center. At St. Bede’s, he assisted on Sundays and was part of the pastoral care team on weekdays. We are truly blessed to have had this depth of experience and commitment!
Bill Bosbyshell was baptized at the Church of the Redeemer in Springfield, Delaware Co., PA and grew up in Springfield. He received a BA Degree from Swarthmore College in 1955 and graduated from The General Theological Seminary in 1958. In 1958 he and Caroline Thomas were married at St. Andrew’s in Tampa, FL and he became a curate at Grace Church, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, PA. Moving to Florida in 1959, he was a Canon at St. Luke’s Cathedral, Orlando and then Rector of St. John’s, Eau Gallie, FL from 1962-66. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1970 and while in graduate school he served churches in Newberry, High Springs, and Cross City, FL. He was also a chaplain at the Cross City Air Force Station. He was the Director of the Episcopal Counseling Center, Clearwater, FL from 1970-1990 and assisted at Church of the Good Shepherd, Dunedin, Church of the Ascension, Clearwater and St. John’s, Clearwater during those years. He was Canon Pastor at St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, 1990-1999. He was our Assistant Priest at St. Bede’s from 2000-2016. Fr. Bosbyshell has been true to his calling: that a priest should “die to self and be reverent.”
Caroline served as Diocesan Altar Guild Directress for SW Florida. Many years ago, her mother in Tampa served the old Diocese of South Florida as Altar Guild Directress. Caroline has been a mentor and guide for the Savannah, Georgia historical museum. At. St. Bede’s she was a member of ECW, contributed in getting the nursery up and running, and caring for resting place of departed souls. Both Caroline and Fr. Bosbyshell served in our homebound ministry, were active in adult Sunday School, and quietly contributed to our church in countless ways - Sine Nomine.
We have been so fortunate to have both Fr. Bobyshell and Caroline at our church for over 16 years. They have been such a blessing to us in their ministry at St. Bede’s. Godspeed!
On July 1, 2014, The Rev. Frederick Mann was designated as Priest-in-Charge of St. Bede’s. Fr. Mann retired from 33 years of full-time parish ministry in July 2011. At that time, he was Rector of St. Andrew’s, Kansas City, MO (Diocese of West Missouri). He and his wife, Denise, are both Florida natives and returned to live in Sarasota in 2012. As Priest-in-Charge, he was responsible for the worship and pastoral care of the congregation; and is a consultant to the Vestry in their work of leadership. Fr. Mann brought skills in Congregational Development, Appreciative Inquiry, and Family Systems to St. Bede’s in this phase of congregational life.
Thank you Father Mann!!
Fr. Fred's Blog Page: http://www.frfmann.blogspot.com/
At its best, theology is the articulation of a person's encounter with the Divine...on a number of levels. Each of us, at our core, is capable of constant engagement with what is both Holy and Holy Other. The collective conversation about these encounters allows for seeing consistency of Divine Truth (rather than ramblings of individuated ego). The recognized consistency is what the broad faith community calls "systematic theology."
Reflections on the Journey is a personal web journal (blog) of our Priest-in-Charge, Fr. Frederick Mann. It is based upon his own spiritual pilgrimage, his research in a variety of disciplines of interest to him, and his encounters with the world which we all share. It does not necessarily reflect the official teachings of the Episcopal Church, though it is within the systematic framework of classical Christian theology. It is a public expression of a personal journey as a human being who is also a priest, husband, father, and friend. It is both sacred and secular in content and does not represent St. Bede's or the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.