Loving God and Loving Each Other
The history of Christ Church is written with the history of Cedar Key the town. The first Episcopal Church services in Cedar Key were held on March 7, 1868. Bishop Young came from Tampa by steamer. The Rev. B.C. Perry of Holy Trinity in Gainesville held monthly services in Cedar Key until 1871. The first building of Christ Church was in 1876 and the Parish of Christ Church was organized and Bishop Young consecrated Christ Church on the fourth Sunday after Easter in 1882.
The Rev William Wilson, who became rector in December 1882, gave full time to the church in Cedar Key and outlying missions in Rosewood, Bronson & Clearwater Harbor. The church building was moved to its present location at the comer of 5th Street and Route 24 and in 1885 a rectory was completed. By 1886 the congregation was reported as numbering 140 with 79 pupils and 6 teachers in the Sunday school.
The next decade brought decline for Cedar Key and the Church was no longer able to support a full time priest. Also in these days, disaster struck the town and the church. A fire burned several blocks of the city including Christ Church and the rectory. The· church furniture was saved and services were held in a vacant store building.
In 1925 Bishop Weed assisted with the construction of a building on the burned-out site.
Beginning in 1929 there was a succession of temporary priests. The Rev. Fred G Yerkes came to Christ Church in 1935. During the fifteen years of his ministry at Cedar Key much was added both spiritually and materially. A building was donated to the church and moved to an adjoining lot to serve as a parish hall and a rectory was acquired.
The Rev. Robert Cowling came to Cedar Key in 1950. A few months after his arrival a disastrous hurricane struck and again the church building was destroyed. With the help of other churches, a loan from the diocese and the generosity of the congregation, a new building was completed in 1952. A cross for the belfry was cast from bronze boat fittings donated by local fishermen for the life of the community. Fishing was at that time the principal economic base. Fr. Cowling was followed by a series of short-term clergy.
The Rev P.D. Kidd came in 1978 serving from his residence in Chiefland where he was also in charge of St. Albans, the new mission church. Rev. William Sharkey, a retired priest, was vicar-in-residence from 1984 through 1993 and the mission became self-supporting.
Then Rev. Jack L. Watson, a retired priest served as vicar until June 1, 1997. Fr. Watson was a Cedar Key native who had been baptized and confirmed and sent to seminary through Christ Church. This was a period stability and growth. Christ Church helped establish the Community Food Pantry. Christ Church has a companion / missional relationship with San Lucas, Santiago, de Cuba.
Fr. Richard Burns was named rector at Christ Church in 1997 to 2007. He was followed by Fr. James Wright who served until his recent retirement at the end of 2018.
The Rev. Jon Davis PhD became Vicar of Christ Church in January of 2020.
The Rev. Jon Davis PhD is the part-time Vicar of Christ Church / Cedar Key. He works full-time with Fresh Expressions US as a Mission Strategist / Trainer / Coordinator. He is an accomplished musician, writer, and speaker. He holds a BA from Berry College; an MDIV from Reformed Theological Seminary; an MA in Anglican Studies from Trinity School for Ministry and a PhD in Theology from Graduate Theological Foundation.
He is a sought after consultant and speaker on: Worship and Liturgy; Youth Ministry; Church Planting; Missiology, Church Growth and more.
Father Jon is a singer, songwriter and recorded numerous music projects including Relentless and Tender, a Praise and Worship Experience.
He served as Canon for Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Central Florida; an Associate Rector of All Saints in Winter Park, FL; Church Planter and first Vicar of Church of the Incarnation in Oviedo, FL; Executive Director of Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center. Jon has taught seminary courses at Reformed Theological Seminary and with Asbury Theological Seminary. He has led teaching missions in the UK, Kiev, the Canadian Arctic and extensively throughout the USA.
He has been married to his wife Beth for 28 years. They have two daughters and two grandsons.
You can read more about Father Jon and his ministry with Fresh Expressions and the Abbey Mission CLICK HERE
Our Mission Board
ChaRue Sandlin - Senior Warden
Sandy Power - Junior Warden
Cindy Leiner - Treasurer
Karen Voyles - Clerk
The Diocese of Florida
Christ Church / Cedar Key, Florida is a mission congregation in The Episcopal Diocese of Florida.
Our Bishop is
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson "+John" Howard