Mrs. Robert T. Hoover, III (Karen):
I am constantly encouraged when I think of the founders of St. Clements and the work of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, moving in their lives to His purpose. That is the magic of faith in Jesus Christ that resides at St. Clement's Church, in my view--and that has been built up as the Body of Christ at St. Clements for 145 years...
So let's take a quick bird's eye view of that founding period--flying over it briefly/in large perspective: (in this summary I draw heavily upon Melanie Wayne's book"Whose House We Are" and W. W. Mills' "40 Years at El Paso 1858-1898")
In the late 1860's there wasn't a railroad or telegraph station within 1000 miles of El Paso. W. W. Mills, El Paso pioneer, was an old school friend of Gaylord Judd Clarke, a lawyer from New York state. Clarke was described by a newspaper of the era as "a gentleman of spotless character and irreproachable private life; a well read and thorough lawyer; an eloquent and electrical speaker; and finished writer of both poetry and prose; and possessed the elements of popularity in rare degree." W.W. Mills said of El Paso "At one time there were more people buried there (Sunset Heights cemetery) who had died by violence than from all other causes. When I state that the writer of these pages sometimes read the burial service there over the remains of our departed countrymen, it may be imagined how sadly we were in need of spiritual guidance. Every citizen whatever his age or calling, habitually carried a 6-shooter at his belt, and slept with it under his pillow."
So there was a deep need in El Paso for God to step in. And so He did--Gaylord Clarke wrote to W.W. Mills in 1867 that he, Clarke, had failed in everything and was destitute. W. W. Mills sent Clarke the funds to travel to El Paso first, also financed his wife/daughter to come. Clarke was subsequently appointed District Judge for El Paso in 1870. Feeling the need for "spiritual guidance", Clarke, who was an Anglican, read rites and homilies at his own home for his family and friends on Sundays. Clarke could not even write a letter because letters were opened and read/destroyed at Uncle Ben Dowell's saloon/post office -- so that he had difficulty exposing corruption. He signed his letters "As ever yours, Gaylord".
We see that a spiritual need was answered, in part by Clarke's establishment in El Paso, and further when Clarke was convinced that it was crucially important to have "the Church's ministrations here".
Drawn on, by the Holy Spirit, I believe, Clarke and Albert Fountain rode to Austin (a very long and arduous trip) to invite Rev. Joseph Wilkin Tays to "take the Gospel 'to a new country' where "there had never been a church service on this frontier." Rev. Tays, who was at a low point in his life after losing his wife to yellow fever, arrived in Oct, 1870, established a small chapel within his rooms and conducted El Paso's first Protestant service on Oct. 9, 1870.
--then Gaylord Clarke was called home by the Lord in December, 1870, killed by a double-barreled shot gun wielded by B.F. Williams, a local lawyer who was jealous of Clarke. Defeated? by no means, since the Church of St. Clement has sailed onward since Clarke's death powered by the Trinity of Power and built up individually, year by year, as the Body of Christ at St. Clement.
The beauty of a Fine Arts Ministry at St. Clement, in my view, is to hear the story of those citizen artists who listen to the drawing of the Holy Spirit to create to His purpose, in whatever medium they work. That testimony is most encouraging to the Body of Christ.