In the spring of 1888 a group of citizens who were interested in founding an Episcopal Church met in a home. The Reverend H.C. Dyer, Garden City, held a Lenten service and plans were laid immediately for the organization of a mission. As time went on, a vestry was elected, a women's guild founded, and the mission was named St. Cornelius'. The name seems to be associated with Ft. Dodge, KS. St. Cornelius' of the Biblical times, was a Roman centurion and was one of the first gentile converts to Christianity. The Episcopal Church in Dodge City is the only one so named in the United States.
The mission continued to grow. Over the next 8 years, John J. Summersby, who was appointed Lay Reader by Bishop Vail, the Episcopal Bishop of Kansas, conducted most of the services. The land the church is build on was purchased for $50. The stone for the church was donated and came from an ice house in Dodge City. The ground breaking was Monday, February 7th, 1898. The entire cost was $1,200. The first service in the church was held July 17th, 1898 and the building was consecrated September 11th, 1898,
St. Cornelius' Episcopal Church was a mission until December 3, 1946 when it gained Parish status. The mission priest at the time, the Reverend Rudolph W. Treder, became the first Rector of St. Cornelius' serving from 1938-1977. It is the oldest church building in continuous use in Dodge City.
Reverend John Seatvet, Rector
Rev. John is the 6th Rector of St. Cornelius. He earned his BA in Economics and his Masters of Ministry from the Nashotah House Theological Seminary.