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Click here to download interior drone footage of The Church.

About St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church was founded in 1952 and is the largest Episcopal Church in North America with nearly 9,400 baptized members and average weekly attendance for all worship services of 2,677. The Church campus covers nearly 15 acres and includes 200,000 square feet of worship and meeting space. St. Martin’s has about 200 Clergy, program staff, and administrative and support staff. The Parish celebrates worship at six Sunday and three Wednesday services in both traditional and contemporary liturgical styles in the Anglican evangelical and orthodox tradition. The Church offers a wide range of Sunday school classes for the entire family, as well as more than 200 Outreach and Missions opportunities, and a variety of programs and events for adults, students and children (more than 18,000 events are held on campus annually). The Hope and Healing Center & Institute, which is located on the Church campus and supported by St. Martin’s, serves more than 28,800 people a year through one of the more than 40 weekly on-campus recovery and support groups, lunch and learn programs, workshops, lectures, mental and emotional health coaching, and therapeutic intervention and referral.

History of St. Martin’s

  • Founded in 1952 by the Rev. J. Thomas Bagby, DD
  • Purchased four acres of land on Sage Road in 1954 and constructed first Church building, now known as Founders’ Hall
  • Large expansion in 1959 with the new Chapel, parlor, offices, classrooms and Church, now known as Old Church
  • By 10th anniversary in 1962, membership had grown to 2,791 baptized members
  • The Wayside Chapel for All People was dedicated in 1977
  • In 1983, the Rev. Bagby retired and the Rev. Claude Payne, DD became the second rector
  • The Payne Education Center, Library and Choir Hall were added in 1984 and the Activity Center opened in 1986
  • The Rev. Payne was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese in 1993; the Rev. Laurence Gipson became the third rector of St. Martin’s the following year
  • A new worship space, known as The Church, opened with the Easter service on April 4, 2004
  • The Rev. Gipson announced his retirement in 2006 and was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. the following year
  • A dedication was held in 2012 for three new buildings: The Island, The Scout Center and the Hope and Healing Center & Institute
  • Launched the Building for the Ages capital campaign to expand ministries through the new Parish Life Center, Children’s Ministry Building, Christ Chapel, Pastoral Care Center, Music Building, and Maintenance and Central Plant

About The Church at St. Martin’s

  • Designed based on thirteenth century St. Elisabeth’s Church in Marburg, Germany
  • Footprint of 27,630 square feet
  • Took 15 months to build the $42 million church that was designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects and built by Tellepson Construction Company
  • Altar and font are Italian marble that was carved in China
  • Spires are 188 feet above the street
  • Four bells in the belltower, which were cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry in the United Kingdom, ring the notes F, A-flat, C and E-flat
  • Arches inside The Church are 70 feet above the slate floor
  • Wood in The Church is quarter-sawn Appalachian white oak that was hand-chiseled by Amish and Mennonite woodcarvers in Pennsylvania
  • The Gloria Dei Organ was designed and constructed by Schoenstein & Co. of San Francisco; has 4,649 pipes that range in length from 32 feet to three-eighths of an inch
  • There are 36 stained glass windows that tell the story of faith, including: Genesis and Noah; the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ; early Church history and those who died for their faith; and establishment of the Episcopal Church in America and its expansion into Texas
  • Windows were designed and created by Willet Stained Glass Studios (now a division of the Hauser Art Glass Company)
  • There are 485 sections of stained glass windows; each section weighs 40 – 50 pounds, for a total weight of all the windows of 9.7 – 12 tons

About the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., Rector, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

The Rev. Dr. Russell Jones Levenson, Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He and Laura, his wife of more than 30 years, have three children, Jones, Luke and Evelyn who is married to Jake Vidrine, and one granddaughter, Genevieve Vidrine and one grandson, Austin James Vidrine. Dr. Levenson received his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 1984 where he was  recognized with the college’s top presidential honor, the “President’s Student Service Award.” He received a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in 1992.

While in seminary, he served at historic Christ Church in Olde Town, Alexandria, Virginia. Following his graduation from VTS, he served as Assistant Chaplain at The University of the South, Sewanee, until he was called to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Birmingham, Alabama, where he served under the Rev. Dr. John Claypool for four years. He completed his Doctor of Ministry at Beeson Divinity School in 1997.  He was called to be the Rector of The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1997. In 2002 Dr. Levenson was called as the fifteenth rector of historic Christ Church Parish in Pensacola, Florida. In the fall of 2007 Dr. Levenson became the fourth Rector of St. Martin’s.

In 2011 he was awarded Beeson Divinity School’s “Distinguished Alumnus” honor and in the fall of 2012 he accepted the “Dean’s Cross” from Virginia Theological Seminary. In 2015, by appointment of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Dr. Levenson was inducted into the Most Venerable Order of The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. He has served on the Board of Advisors for St. Luke’s School of Theology and Advisory Board for Beeson Divinity School, as well as the Board of The Living  Church Foundation and Amazing Place. Dr. Levenson is the author of several articles in various magazines and religious journals, and four seasonal devotional books, Provoking Thoughts: A Lenten Companion, Preparing Room: An Advent Companion, Summer Times: A Summer Companion and Autumn Leaves: An Autumn Companion; and with his wife, has authored An Advent Wreath Devotional that is suitable for adults and families, as well as one version especially for children.

St. Martin’s was founded in 1952 and is the largest Episcopal Church in North America with nearly 9,400 baptized members and an average weekly attendance for all worship services of 2,677. More than 1,770 services are held each year, including Easter and Christmas services that are attended by more than 5,300 and 6,200 people, respectively. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church


The design of The Church at St. Martin’s is based on the 13th century St. Elisabeth’s Church in Marburg, Germany. The Church, which has a footprint of 27,630 feet, took 15 months to build and cost $42 million. It was designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects and built by Tellepsen Construction Company. The Church opened with the Easter service on April 4, 2004. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church


The altar and font in The Church at St. Martin’s are Italian marble that was carved in China. Wood is quarter-sawn Appalachian white oak that was hand-chiseled by Amish and Mennonite woodcarvers in Pennsylvania. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church


There are 36 stained glass windows in The Church at St. Martin’s that tell the story of faith, including Genesis and Noah; the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, early church history and those who died for their faith, and establishment of the Episcopal Church in America and its expansion in Texas. Each of the 485 sections weighs 40 – 50 pounds, for a total weight of all the windows of 9.7 – 12 tons. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church


The Hope and Healing Center & Institute, which is located on the Church campus and supported by St. Martin’s, serves more than 28,800 people a year through one of the more than 40 weekly on-campus recovery and support groups, lunch and learn programs, workshops, lectures, mental and emotional health coaching, and therapeutic intervention and referral. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church


Twenty-nine percent of St. Martin’s $14.7 million budget goes toward Outreach activities. In 2017, most of the $1.2 million donated to St. Martin’s Harvey Relief Fund was passed onto churches, schools, ministries and individuals severely impacted by the storm. Last year, St. Martin’s had more than 200 Outreach opportunities in which 6,052 volunteers offered their own time and talent to reach more than 114,000 individuals in the church community and beyond. Photo credit: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church