St. Philip's Church | 1950s to 1980s
With the arrival of the post war years and the rapid economic changes that accompanied them, St. Philip’s once again experienced explosive growth. Church membership grew by more than 50 percent between 1945 and 1955. Several improvements were implemented to better serve the expanding parish. Money from the Toucey Fund was used to install a new organ in 1957.
Communications were improved through the introduction of a weekly bulletin and in 1958, the 150 year old practice of pew rentals was abolished. (Funds for church programs during its early years were raised through annual rentals of pews to families for their exclusive use.). In 1959 vestry elections were first opened to women.
Some important milestones reached during the time of growth for women in the U.S. included the first woman minister to serve St. Philip’s when Ann Wevling , the sister of Ruth W. Anderson, served the church from 1991-1992. The Vestry, with a tradition of over 200 years, installed Jan Spaulding, who was elected as the first woman to serve as Senior Warden of St. Philip’s. In 1996, the Right Reverend Catherine Roskam became the first woman Bishop to visit St. Philip’s.
In 1960, the Reverend William Reisman became rector of St. Philip’s Church. Reisman served the congregation with distinction for twenty-seven years and was beloved both in the congregation and by the community. During his leadership the Parish House was modernized, the rectory and sexton’s homes were redecorated, flood-lights were installed, and the stained glass windows in the church were restored and fitted with protective covers. Adult education classes were initiated and the Parish House became a focus for community activities. Drawing upon Dr. Chorley’s historical texts, Reisman updated the history of St. Philip’s Church to the 1970s.