Photo by George Sale
Good Shepherd of Ogden is the Mother Church of St. Peter’s of Clearfield. By the time St. Peter’s became sufficient, more than $100,000 and countless hours of effort, prayer, tears, and work had been the price the congregation at Good Shepherd paid to bring the Episcopal Church to Clearfield, and northern Davis County in Utah.
Father John MacGinnis, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, acted on a dream. On June 29, 1958, he appointed a committee to plan the Episcopal Mission in Clearfield. After weeks of praying, planning, and prospecting for a meeting place, the first service, with 96 people in attendance, was held in an upstairs room of Pioneer Elementary School.
At the District Convocation held the next month, Bishop Watson was petitioned to recognize the Clearfield Mission as an official entity in the Episcopal Church, which was to be given the name of St. Peter’s. Early written records reveal that the name was well-chosen because it was St. Peter’s Day when Father MacGinnis had been ordained and the first planning had been held — June 29.
The effort to build St. Peter’s spiritually and temporally continued. Prayer books, hymnals, a portable altar, and church finishings were collected or constructed. During these months the altar guild, the acolytes group, a women’s guild, the choir, the Church School, and the “Keys” were formed. On February 12, 1959, the Bishop’s Committee of St. Peter’s and the vestry of The Good Shepherd approved the purchase of five acres for a site for the new church.
Richard Lowe, architect and contractor, began planning. Ground was broken on August 4, 1963. On March 1, 1964, 173 people celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the unfinished edifice. The Right Reverend Robert S. Watson presided with 278 people present at the official dedication on January 17, 1965.
The early times of St. Peter’s history had concluded by the first part of the 1970s. Both good and bad had occurred in the new parish, not an unusual state of affairs where humans gather. The parking lot was finished in 1966, the landscaping begun in 1968. In 1969, an organ was acquired and the sacristy work started. Four vicars had come and gone, hard feelings and misunderstandings had occurred, yet the work continued.
More than thirty years have passed since the early history of St. Peter’s. The work continues, and the failings of mortal humanity are evident even today. The success of St. Peter’s is a direct testimony that where two or three Christians abide, so does the spirit of the Lord. We try to limit our weaknesses and use our strengths for the fulfillment of God’s will. The folks of St. Peter’s understand fully that it is the trip that is important, for if life (for congregations as well as families and individuals) is traveled well, the end will take care of itself.
Photo by Jessi Overton
In October 2006, we moved into our new church building along State Street in Clearfield. The Right Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish blessed and consecrated St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on October 29,2006. During this celebration members, visiting clergy, and guests joined together to worship and praise God Almighty for giving us our new home.