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St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Our History


On October 4, 1970 the Rev. Richard Morris, Vicar of Brooksville’s St. John’s Mission, held the first Episcopal church service in Spring Hill in a storefront mission at St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church. Episcopal worship services continued in a room of The Little Red Schoolhouse in Spring Hill.


In May of 1971 the Rt. Rev. William L. Hargrave, Bishop of Southwest Florida, appointed the Very Rev. Terrell T. Kirk, dean of the Clearwater Deanery, as interim priest. On September 1, 1971 the Rev. Ernest L. Bennett (1971-1985) was appointed full-time Vicar. He later became our first Rector.


The Rev. Canon Robert Lambers and a vestry committee chose our present seven-acre location. Ground was broken on March 5, 1972 for a new mission called St. Andrew’s By The Lake (soon shortened to St. Andrew’s). Rubino Hall — a multipurpose church/parish hall and now our Thrift Store — was dedicated on December 17, 1972.


Friendship Hall (constructed from 1974–76) was dedicated May 17, 1977 by the Right Rev. E. Paul Haynes, Bishop of Southwest Florida. This building housed Spring Hill’s first daycare center. and remains a pre-school and daycare facility.


Coulton Hall was erected in 1978 for storage, became a thrift store, and is now a community outreach meeting hall for groups such as AA.


Construction on our beautiful permanent Sanctuary began Palm Sunday, April 8, 1979. It was dedicated by Bishop Haynes on St. Andrew’s Day, November 30, 1979.


The office building was erected in 1984, and the paved parking lot completed in 1991. Our continued growth required a separate, larger fellowship hall. In February 1996 a capital fund drive began. On April 18, 1997, the Edward A. Krysher Parish Hall was dedicated. This building housed the library, the fellowship hall, and a state-of-the-art kitchen. At this same time the office building was renovated and an additional parking lot completed.

During Father Bennett’s tenure he was assisted by the Rev. Gerard W. Rubino (1977-1985) and the Rev. Mark E. Seitz (1983-1985). Father Bennett was succeeded by The Rev. Dr. Robin G. Murray (1986-2005). St. Andrew’s has also been served by the following clergy and other ministers: the Rev. Tom Tirman (Curate 1989-1991) and the Rev. J. James Gerhart (Curate 1991-1992); Youth Minister Chas Williams (1994-1996); the Rev. Candis Burgess (Assistant to the Rector 1996-1997); two Deacons, the Revs. Mary Willow (1986-2006) and Margaret E. Green-Witt (1991-2007); and six associates, The Revs. Donald Jaikes, Magar “Mike” Bedrosian, Edward D. Grimes, Donald Lillpopp, Robert James, and Jay P. Coulton (Emeritus). Pastor Shanda M. Mahurin served St. Andrew’s for seven years, from 2005-2012. She was assisted by the Revs. Bedrosian, Lillpopp, James, and Deacons, the Rev. Dr. Ludwig Wallner and the Rev. Elaine Cole.


In January 2013 the Rev. Lance Wallace was called to be our priest-in-charge. Later that year he was called to be rector. On November 17th of 2013 he was installed as the fourth rector by Bishop Dabney Smith.  The Rev. Ernie Bennett preached the homily during the installation service and the Rev. Shanda Mahurin shared church memories during the reception.  The Revs. Mike Bedrosian, Don Lillpopp, Fred Scharf and Deacon Ludwig Wallner continued to assist as retired clergy. Deacon Elaine Cole also continued to serve.


In January 2016 ground was broken for a new church addition which closed in the narthex, provided a chapel/multi-purpose room, a baby’s room, a toddler room, and the restrooms were renovated.  Bishop Dabney Smith dedicated the new narthex addition on June 12, 2016.


In 2017 woodgrain tile flooring was installed in the sanctuary, the pews were repaired and reupholstered, and privacy panels were added to the front rows. Sacristy and vesting rooms renovation also began. The library was moved into the defunct gift shop which made the former library available to become the new choir room.


In 2018 the sacristy renovation was completed.  Olivia La Cava was hired as part-time youth minister.  The Revs. Scharf and Lillpopp and Deacons Cole and Wallner were the assisting clergy.


In 2019 the church website was professionally updated and Krysher Hall was tiled.


In 2020 the Covid pandemic forced a change in approach to the church services. The capacity to stream the services was developed and an audio-video booth was built. Online services became accessible from both the church website and Facebook page.


In 2022 major repairs were completed. The roofs of the church, Krysher Hall, office building, thrift store, and walkway were all replaced as well as the air conditioning units for those buildings. The Rev. Fred Scharf and Deacon Elaine Cole continued to assist as retired clergy.