History of the Diocese of Fort Worth

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth formed in 1983 after the decision was made to divide the existing Diocese of Dallas into two dioceses.

The Diocese of Fort Worth consists of 56 congregations serving 24 North Central Texas counties. Major cities in the diocese include Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Wichita Falls, Grand Prairie, Keller, Brownwood, and Stephenville. We have 128 ordained clergy with approximately 19,000 communicants.

The diocesan offices are located on the west side of Fort Worth near the intersection of I-30 and Loop 820. The address is 2900 Alemeda Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76108.

The Right Reverend Jack Leo Iker has served as the third Diocesan Bishop of Fort Worth since 1995. His predecessors are the Rt. Rev. A. Donald Davies and the Rt. Rev. Clarence C. Pope, Jr

From its inception, the Diocese of Fort Worth has committed itself to the proclamation and practice of a traditional, biblically-centered faith. There is a diversity of worship in the diocese that ranges from traditional Anglo-Catholic spirituality to Evangelical expression. The churches of the diocese continue to grow steadily as a direct result of our commitment to a traditional expression of Anglicanism and the fact that many of the North Texas communities we serve are young and growing.

One of the most exciting ministries in the diocese takes place at Camp Crucis Retreat and Conference Center. Located in Granbury, Texas, the geographic center of the diocese, the facility is the diocesan camp for youth and also serves as a year-round conference center for all ages. Its summer program is comprised of weeklong camping sessions for school-aged children. The summer program includes recreation, worship, and Bible study, and many lasting friendships are formed. Thanks to a building project in 2001-02, the camp now has meeting rooms and overnight facilities for youth and adult retreats and conferences; programs operate year-round. A chapel for corporate worship is the spiritual heart of both the camp and conference center.

Diocesan outreach programs include mission work in Mexico and the African nation of Malawi. Locally, our churches have helped to build seven Habitat for Humanity homes in the last six years. Clergy-led ministries are provided to students at four local colleges and universities.

The Annual Convention of the diocese occurs in November. Each congregation is represented at the convention by both clergy and laity. The diocese is divided into six (6) deaneries. The Fort Worth East and Fort Worth West deaneries take in the congregations in the diocese's most populous city. The Eastern Deanery is comprised of congregations in the mid-cities of the Metroplex. The Southern, Western, and Northern Deaneries take in the rural congregations, as well as the cities of Wichita Falls, Stephenville, and Brownwood.

The diocese takes seriously its ministry to the Hispanic community. The parish of Iglesia San Juan Apostol in south Fort Worth was established in 1985 and now has over 300 communicants. In 1999, with the arrival of Fr. Sergio Diaz, Iglesia San Miguel was organized. In addition, there are ongoing hispanic mission efforts at the churches of St. Anne's, Fort Worth, and Ascension/St. Mark's, Wise County.

1999 also saw the formation of the thriving congregation of St. Philip's, Arlington, as a ministry to the immigrant African community. Ground was broken in late 2004 for the congregation's permanent home.

In 2002 an additional church was planted in the Park Glen area of far north Fort Worth. St. Barnabas the Apostle is a strong and growing mission meeting each Sunday at Lone Star Elementary in Keller.

Ten congregations in the diocese sponsor schools, offering programs for children from preschool through high school.

The mission statement of the diocese is To Equip the Saints for the Work of Ministry. Taken from Ephesians 4:12, the phrase sums up the diocesan mission to build up our people for the purpose of taking Christ's love to the world.

We believe the Diocese of Fort Worth is poised for its best years as it continues to stand firm in the traditional expression of Anglicanism.

The Seal of the Diocese of Fort Worth

The official seal of the Diocese of Fort Worth was designed by Mr. Eugene Maxey, The Rev. Messrs. Harrison Beste, William Crary and William Risinger. Mr. Maxey, a member of St. Andrew's, is an expert in the science of heraldry and holds membership in heraldry societies in America, England, Scotland and Canada.

Each diocese of the Anglican Communion has an official seal which reflects something of the nature of the life of the diocese. In this seal our heritage and our commitment to our Lord's mission are artistically set forth.

Fort Worth, the See City, is indicated by the fortress battlements which divide the Shield through the center horizontally.

The Longhorn Steer, a symbol of a major industry within the diocese, is also a reminder of the frontier spirit and the venturesome nature of the poeple of God in this part of the country.

The Star, has a two-fold meaning. In Christendom the five pointed star symbolizes the Incarnation. It also stands for the Lone Star State of Texas.

The Griffin, symbol of guardianship of the Faithful, is in the upper left corner. The Griffin, half lion and half eagle, is an ancient symbol used by the Celtic people of Great Britain. Bishop Alexander Charles Garrett, an Irishman, utilized the Griffin in the Seal of the Diocese of Dallas to indicate our heritage with the Church of England.

We chose the Griffin because of our Welsh heritage and our linkage with the Diocese of Dallas. Of great significance is the fact that the Apostolistic succession of the American Episcopate flowed through David, Patron Saint and Bishop of Wales.

The Keys of St. Peter, depict the authority of the Apostolic ministry bestowed upon the Church by our Lord.

The Bishop's Staff, in black and silver, resembles the crozier used by the Bishop. Both the presiding Bishop and I were once rectors of Grace Church, Monroe, Louisiana. We had identical croziers which were presented to us as thank-offerings by the people of Grace Church.

The banner carries a motto: Los Brazos De Dios or "The Arms of God." Written in Spanish to reflect the Hispanic culture in Texas, the motto is a reminder of our Servanthood. While Christians are upheld and supported by "the arms of God," Christians are cognizant that by His Grace we are to be "the arms of God" in the Lord's work and mission in today's world.