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The Emergence of Holy Cross Episcopal Church: A Chronicle

In the spring of 2003, amidst the growing neighborhoods of southern New Hanover County, a handful of passionate Episcopalians envisioned a dream – a beacon for the Episcopal faith where there was none. Surrounded by establishments of other denominations, this small gathering believed in establishing an Episcopal foothold in the region. Their first step? Consulting the rector of St. James the Fisherman in Shallotte, who pointed them towards the Lower Cape Fear Deanery.

Their enthusiasm was met with joy and support from The Rev. Canon Matthew Stockard. Canon Stockard highlighted the demographics – statistics that illustrated the potential and pressing need for an Episcopal establishment amidst the county's growth.

Grounded in faith and guidance, the group, now more committed than ever, convened weekly. Their dedication bore fruit on December 14, 2003, when The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel 3rd celebrated the Holy Eucharist at Carolina Beach. What Bishop Daniel anticipated to be a modest gathering of around 10 individuals ballooned to an impressive congregation of 60.

The first Sunday service of the then christened "Holy Cross Episcopal Church" was held in January 2004 at Ashley High School, with 39 attendees. It wasn't long before the congregation outgrew its confines, prompting a move to the school's cafeteria.

2005 was a landmark year for the church. It was formally inducted into the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina. The same year, the church expanded its vestry and inaugurated Sunday school programs for children and adults alike. Additionally, home-based weekly Bible study sessions commenced.

The burgeoning congregation was more than a group; it was a community with vision and direction. They formed a Talking Points Committee to brainstorm the church's future. Their discussions led to the acquisition of nearly five acres of land at 5820 Myrtle Grove Road in 2007, which housed a pre-existing structure. With collective effort, the structure was renovated, serving as a hub for various church functions and fundraisers.

2009 saw another pivotal move for the church. An ambitious project to develop the property was unveiled. Funded by the church members, this involved forming a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). By Easter Sunday 2010, a modular church building stood tall on the grounds, with over 200 parishioners attending the inaugural service. This feat was followed by an official consecration in June 2010.

Our foundational principles, as crafted by our pioneering members:

  • Holy Cross is built not just for its members but for those yet to join.

  • We accept individuals wherever they are in their spiritual journey, entrusting God with their path.

  • It's genuine relationships, not mere religion, that people seek.

  • Our strength lies in our uniqueness. We're inspired by others but remain authentic to our identity.

  • Tradition is valued, but adaptability is essential for growth.

  • God’s love is unconditional. He loves us as we are but encourages evolution.

  • God provides for His missions.

  • With God, every challenge can be surmounted.

    Join us at Holy Cross, where our history speaks of dedication, community, and a deep-seated faith.

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