History in Brief
Forty years of Episcopal tradition
At St Francis on the Hill, we have a deep and abiding attachment to our Episcopal roots, traditions, and heritage. The message “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” greets us from our sign at the entrance, and lives in our hearts as more than just a slogan. We aspire to embody the best and most enduring of Episcopal traditions…that of genuinely welcoming all who wish to join us in the abundance of a life in Christ.
St Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church has been a presence on the west side of El Paso for almost 40 years. The church was founded in 1974, as an outgrowth of what was then St. Clement’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral.
During constructions of SFOTH, the congregation’s temporary meeting place was in the Mutual Savings and Loan building on Sunland Park Dr, “St. Mutual’s,” where services continued from February of 1976 until October of 1979, when construction of the present St. Francis on the Hill was completed. The church continued to flourish and grow during the following two decades.
As early as 2003, following the appointment of Bishop Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, there were rumblings of discontent with the National Church among (former) St. Francis members. In 2008 the majority of St Francis’ congregation voted to leave the Episcopal Church and initiated a law suit against the Diocese in an attempt to retain the church property.
Other members of the St Francis on the Hill congregation determined to carry on as an Episcopal mission. We were invited by Rabbi Larry Bach and the congregation of Temple Mt. Sinai to
use the Temple’s chapel for Sunday services until ownership of the church building was resolved by the courts. St Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church met at the Temple from March 2009 through July
The Episcopal Diocese was awarded ownership of the property by the courts in 2011. After an absence of more than two years, the Episcopalians of St Francis on the Hill returned on August 7, 2011.
Today, we are a growing congregation, under the leadership of the Reverend Dr Padrecita Jeanne Lutz. We remain intentionally and consciously inclusive and accepting, and are anchored by the Episcopal Church's three "arms" of faith, reason, and tradition.