[Diocese of Southwest Florida] The Rev. Wayne F. Farrell, 54, this week was elected rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Tarpon Springs. The parish, organized in 1892, is one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
“I am pleased and honored to be called as rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs,” said Farrell, a lifelong Episcopalian and native of Sarasota.
Farrell, whose position was approved this week by Bishop Dabney T. Smith, will be formally installed this fall as only the fourth rector for the church, which is notable for still worshipping in its original Florida carpenter gothic church building. Throughout its history, All Saints’ has been closely linked to the history and economic development of Tarpon Springs; one of the founding members of the parish was responsible for bringing the sponging industry to Tarpon Springs and also founded the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange.
Called to All Saints’ Church in September of 2011, Farrell has served as Priest-in-Charge for the past 21 months under the direction of the Diocese. Farrell is a 1980 graduate of the University of Florida. He and his wife Trish have been married for 29 years and have two adult children. After working 27 years as a small businessman in the field of real estate development and home building, he was called to the ordained ministry. In 2011, Farrell graduated with a Masters of Divinity from the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
All Saints’, located near the north end of Lake Tarpon, was organized in 1892 during the tenure of missionary Bishop William Crane Gray, who opened some of the earliest settler churches in Florida. The first sermon was preached in the current church building in 1906 and it was consecrated in 1907. All Saints’ has been an important church in the Episcopal Diocese; the late Bishop Henry I. Louttit was vicar of the church while it was a mission.
In June 1979, the church building moved from downtown Tarpon Springs to its current location at 1700 Keystone Road. Today, the church continues to be an important part of the Tarpon Springs community. All Saints’ is a founding member of the Shepherd Center coalition for the needy and also hosts the independent Christian academy Solid Rock Community School on their campus.
“Our parish is grateful to Bishop Smith and his staff for their support during our transition,” said Farrell. “Most importantly, this congregation is thankful at being strengthened by the Holy Spirit over the past 21 months. We look forward to the new places God is leading us in mission and ministry.”