History of St. Andrew’s Church

We started as a mission on the west side of town, known as the Capitol District, on West Adams Street in 1925. The mission’s beginning was due largely to the work of the Venerable J. Rockwood Jenkins, Archdeacon of Phoenix. The Rev. Canon Fred McNeil, a native of Phoenix, was assigned as the mission’s first Vicar.

In 1929, the building was relocated to 20th Avenue and Monroe, a purchased site. In 1958, under the leadership of the Rev. John K. Becker, the church site was sold. The mission moved and met temporarily in the Lundberg-Hansen Mortuary in Glendale.

Under Fr. Becker’s leadership, the congregation procured property to build facilities at 63rd Avenue and Camelback Road, the present location. On February 5, 1961, with Bishop Arthur Kinsolving officiating, ground breaking ceremonies were held, and construction began.

Shortly after construction began on the present church building, illness forced Fr. Becker to take a leave of absence. The first service in the new building was held May 14, 1961. Fr. Becker returned and conducted this service. His illness was of such a nature that he was forced to resign as Vicar, and his untimely death came on November 4, 1961.

The Rev. Harry G. Secker, from All Saints’ Parish, Austin, Texas, was called and became the Vicar on November 5, 1961. On December 15, 1965, the mission was accepted and welcomed as a parish by the Diocese of Arizona.

The second Rector of St. Andrew’s was the Rev. David Cottrill from All Saints’ Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio. Fr. Cottrill was instituted St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1971.

The third Rector of St. Andrew’s was the Rev. August W. Tuttle from St. Alban’s Parish, Wickenberg, Arizona. Fr. Gus was instituted October 14, 1973. He resigned January 15, 1990 for health reasons.

In the mid 1970’s, the Parish embarked on a major building program which resulted in the addition of a Parish Hall, which was dedicated in the fall of 1976 as McNeil Hall in living honor of the Rev. Fred McNeil. Fr. Fred, who was the first Vicar of St. Andrew’s had returned as Associate Rector in 1968 and served in that position and as Associate Rector Emeritus until 1980.

In February 1991, The Rev. Charles E. Robinson was called as the fourth Rector of St. Andrew’s. During his tenure he developed strong lay involvement through establishing lay commissions, K-Groups, Cursillo and Alpha. Among his contributions were the Covenant of Honesty, and training and commissioning of Lay Prayer Ministers. Also completed was a building/renovation fund drive that enabled us to repair, restore and upgrade our facilities.

In June 1999, The Rev. Al Holland was called as the fifth Rector of St. Andrew’s. During his tenure, we found renewed emphasis on reaching out to the community around us, and were blessed with the establishment and growth of a Hispanic component of our congregation. We added a third mass, in Spanish, to our Sunday services, and discovered we had a team of Spanish-speaking lay ministers in our midst to help lead the services and foster growth. Our multicultural mix increased in diversity as well, and it became the norm to hear the collects read on Sunday mornings in one of the many native languages of our congregation. Fr. Al took an early retirement in February 2004 to return to his East Coast roots.

The sixth Rector of St. Andrew’s was the Rev. Melinda Archer from St Michael and All Angels Church, Dallas, Texas. Rev. Melinda was instituted in 2005. She resigned in 2010.

In May, 2012, The Rev. Canon Martir Vasquez was called as the seventh Rector of St. Andrew’s from St. George Episcopal Church in Hawthorne, California. During his tenure with St. Andrew’s we continued our emphasis on reaching out to the community around us and across our southern border into Mexico and Guatemala. Fr. Martir took an early retirement in February 2023 for health reasons.