A Firestone family endowment launched the construction of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Firestone Park. The church was completed in 1928. But, after 50 years of serving the Firestone Park area, membership had declined, and the parish was unable to support a full time priest.
In the late 1970’s, a small Episcopal congregation was forming in northern Stark County as a break-off group from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton, Ohio. The group held its first services in a bank building, and then in the Uniontown Firehouse. Named St. Michaels and All Angels, the congregation eventually purchased a church building near the intersection of Cleveland Ave. and Route 619 in Uniontown. By 2001, St. Michaels was also looking for a half-time priest for its faithful, but declining, congregation.
The Bishop appointed The Rev. Stephanie Pace to serve half-time at St. Michael’s in 2001. Because St. Peter’s was also looking for a half-time priest, discussion arose about Rev. Stephanie about serving both churches. Within a short time, the benefits of merging the two churches became clear, and the two vestries began discussions. New Life Episcopal Church is the faith family resulting from the friendly merger in 2001 of these two churches. The newly named New Life Episcopal Church celebrated its first Eucharistic Service in December 2002.
With the merger complete, St. Peter’s in Akron was sold, and the church in Uniontown became our worship center. As the church continued to thrive and grow, many needed repairs and improvements were made to the Uniontown location, making the building fully handicapped-accessible and more welcoming.
After Rev. Stephanie’s service to New Life, we were blessed to have The Rev. Pat Hanen, and then, The Rev. Beth Frank. All of these fine women have blessed New Life with their unique talents and abilities. Now, we look forward to what the next chapter will bring, as we search for a new Rector! In the meantime, The Rev. Phillip Kunder is our Interim Priest and steadfast leader.
Today, New Life is a parish with much to offer. Our faith family enables us to do God’s work within the parish and our community. We feel blessed to be a part of New Life. All are welcome to join us for this fantastic journey of faith!