St. Stephen's Episcopal Church Oak Harbor

By God's Grace, All Are Welcome

Celebrating 70 Years


Before World War II, there were no Episcopal churches on Whidbey Island, which lies in Puget Sound northwest of Seattle.  During the war, the Navy established a seaplane base in the small farming town of Oak Harbor on the north end of the island.  After the war, as Navy aviation grew, the base expanded dramatically, bringing many military families to the area and rapidly increasing the population of Oak Harbor (now the island’s largest town).

Beginning in 1952, several young Navy spouses who had grown up in the Episcopal Church began talking about establishing a parish in Oak Harbor.  Bishop Stephen Bayne met with them, and soon thereafter St. Stephen’s was organized.  (Legend has it that the parish was named after the Bishop.)  As of January 1, 1954, Bishop Bayne declared St. Stephen’s to be a mission church of the Diocese of Olympia.  It became a full parish on November 6, 1977.

The first A-shaped building (now the office and chapel) was constructed in 1954.  The second sanctuary (now the parish hall) was built in 1960.  And the third sanctuary, which we use today, was erected in 1982, including a lower floor for classrooms.

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