ORIGINS In the fall of 1964, several interested persons gathered in Bill and Elaine Hearn's kitchen with the hope of organizing an Episcopal mission in Winder. A petition was submitted and in December of that year the Right Reverned Randolph R. Claiborne granted permission to organize the Mission of St. Anthony. The first worship service was held on January 10, 1965, in the Winder Woman's Club building. Our priest was the Reverend Bob Fisher whom we shared with St. Alban's in Monroe. The Reverend Dawson Teague, supply vicar, was most helpful in St. Anthony's progress until the end of 1966. During this time a three and one-half acre lot was purchased, a Sunday School and Episcopal Church Women Chapter were organized, and a Thrift Shop was opened as a community service and fund-raiser. The Reverend Edmond Berkley then served as vicar for two years.
GROWTH The congregation continued to grow and in early 1970, with the help and encouragement of the Reverend John Womack and funds from the Thrift Shop, plans for a church building began. In August of 1970 the Reverend J. Victor Nickelson was assigned to St. Anthony's. Construction of our building started the following year and on January 30, 1972, our first service was held in our new building. An addition was built in 1979, providing more Sunday School rooms and a new parish hall. During the 1990's the old parish hall was partitioned to make four classrooms for expansion of our Sunday School program, we also added an outdoor chapel, "Joyce's Way" memorial garden, landscaping and a paved parking lot to the grounds. Efforts continued in expanding our building with an additional wing that provided us new offices, a library and upstairs youth room that was completed in October 2005.
OUR PARISH Outreach has always been a big part of St. Anthony's mission. The church supports the Barrow County Food Bank with monthly requests for donations of different foods, luxury and infant items. Our congregation also supports nine local non-profit organizations with 3rd Sunday financial donations. We serve through the Barrow County Ministerial Association as Church of the Month during January of each year. Our members are strong in volunteering thoughout our community and spreading the love of Christ to all we meet.