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Welcome to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (formerly Wesley Chapel Episcopal Church). Since, July 2019, St. Paul’s has made 3836 Flatiron Loop our church home. We are nestled in the highly visible and easily-accessible Seven Oaks community, off of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. between SR-56 and SR-54.
In 2016, the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida prayerfully engaged the Holy Spirit in the sacred work of inviting missioners into the very unique calling of “planting,” a new faith community in an area where there was no Episcopal Church presence. With support from The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Southwest Florida committed to support and nurture the growth of what, we believed by faith, would become a new church. Our priest, Mother Hymes, was appointed in 2016 by Bishop Dabney Smith to vision, structure and plan the new community to come. As the product of the diocese’s nurturing, Wesley Chapel Episcopal Church (as we were named at the time) went from meeting with a small planning group in the conference rooms of car dealerships (2017-2018), to renting a regular worship space from another church (2018-2019), to finally securing our current permanent church home in July 2019.
Since moving into our new location, our congregation size has doubled, and continues to grow. In our first year, we had two bishop’s visits, two baptisms, three confirmations, our first Christmas Eve midnight Mass, and our first Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Prior to the onset of the pandemic in March, we regularly welcomed 45 people at our 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass—truly inspiring and encouraging!
This church, in all that we are, and in all that we do, seeks to please God by showing up in the world as his embodied love, Jesus Christ. As we strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being, we seek to reflect the Triune God’s model for unity in diversity through the bond of mutual love.
On May 16, 2020, the Diocesan Council approved Wesley Chapel Episcopal Church plant’s application to become a mission of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was received by the Diocesan Convention on Saturday, October 17, 2020. Grounded in Jesus Christ and rooted in the rich Anglican tradition of the Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s is a caring, inviting and inclusive community of faith which God has called, and continues to call, into being through our sacramental life, spiritual formation and pastoral care. All are welcome—YOU are welcome!