Our History and Interwoven Symbols
Our History and Mission
We were founded on June 29, 1981. The first gathering of prospective parishioners took place at the home of our first vicar The Rev. Louis Tonsmeire. The rapidly growing congregation quickly found larger accommodations and was able to build a church on our Johnson Ferry Road property. The first service in our own worship space, now the parish hall, was in May 1983. Initially a mission congregation, we gratefully received financial assistance from the Diocese of Atlanta, the Cathedral of St. Philip, and Holy Innocents Episcopal Church. We became self-supporting in January 1985, and Father Tonsmeire became our first rector during a period of rapid growth, not only of the church, but also of the surrounding area.
The growing congregation experienced rapid turnover of its members as well as clergy staff as they bid fare-well to their first rector in 1989; welcomed an interim rector; a second rector, The Rev. Jerry Hardy; and then another interim rector. The congregation realized one of its primary missions was to offer spiritual stability in an ever-changing environment.
The Rev. Aaron Uitti became our third rector in October 1993, over-seeing a period of tremendous growth during the next six years.
In 1997 we completed a new worship space, a new nursery area, Sunday School classrooms, kitchen, and memorial garden. The former worship space became a parish hall and kitchen. After fourteen years as rector, The Rev. Aaron Uitti announced his retirement effective March 2007. The Rev. Dr. Robert Certain was called in April 2007 as interim rector to guide us through this period of transition. He became our rector in September 2008 until his retirement from parish ministry in October 2012. The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly, the retired bishop of Texas and Lexington, served as our interim rector until The Rev. Thomas C. Pumphrey joined our parish as rector in October of 2013. The Rev. Elisa Harres is our associate rector.
The congregation and clergy of The Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul invite you to come and discover our amazing East Cobb community.
The Interwoven Symbols of St. Peter and St. Paul
Church tradition holds that Saint Peter felt unworthy to be crucified in the same manner Christ had been crucified. He requested that his cross be inverted so that he might look heavenward as he was crucified. Along with the inverted cross are the keys symbolizing those to the Kingdom of Heaven given to him by Christ. He was buried on Vatican Hill in Rome, and excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica have unearthed his probable tomb. From the earliest days of the Church, Peter was recognized as the Prince of the Apostles and the first Supreme Pontiff.
Saint Paul is symbolized by the “Sword of the Spirit”, a term Paul used when referring to the Word of God, most notably in Ephesians 6:17. Tradition holds that in 67 A.D., Saint Paul chose to die by the sword rather than deny his God, after teaching and demonstrating that life is indeed a battle to be fought in God’s Armor.