Our Church’s History
St. Dunstan’s was founded as a mission of the Diocese of Atlanta in December 1964, by a group of eight families, most of whom had been members of St. Anne’s parish. This group wanted a family-oriented neighborhood parish with a strong commitment to local outreach and a supportive Christian community, stressing Christian formation.
The mission began regular services in Tuxedo Elementary School (now Jackson Elementary) in January 1965, and the Rev. Don Harrison became the first rector in 1965. Under his leadership, St. Dunstan’s grew and gained a reputation for innovative programs for members and the surrounding community. Early in 1969 St. Dunstan’s became a parish of the diocese. That April, Don left to pursue his long-held interest in public housing for the needy.
The Rev. George Home accepted our call in August 1969, and began a 10-year ministry at St. Dunstan’s. During George’s tenure, St. Dunstan’s deepened its Christian commitment, growing in size and maturity. Following our time in the elementary school, we rented space from local churches. In 1970, the decision was made to erect a permanent building on Garmon Road property which had been purchased some years before. The first services in the new building (now the parish hall) were held on Christmas Eve, 1971. George resigned in August of 1979 to become vicar of the Church of the Transfiguration in Rome, Georgia.
The Rev. Richard P. Pocalyko became St. Dunstan’s third rector. It was during his tenure that the new church building was constructed. The new sanctuary was used for the first time on Easter Sunday, 1987. Rich Pocalyko left St. Dunstan’s in September 1990.
The Rev. Margaret Harney served effectively and warmly as interim rector during a period of parish self-examination and revitalization. Maggie returned to St. Dunstan’s in 1994 as priest associate and director of Mary and Martha’s Place.
In December 1992 the Rev. Margaret Rose accepted St. Dunstan’s call to be its fourth rector. Margaret brought an enthusiasm and energy which attracted new members and increased lay participation in services and programs.
In early 2003 Margaret accepted a call to work with the national church. After an extended search, the Vestry announced in June 2004 that our new rector was to be the Rev. Patricia Templeton, who began her tenure as our fifth rector in August 2004.
Tricia received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of Georgia in 1978, and her Master of Divinity at the University of the South, School of Theology, Sewanee, TN, in 1994. She came to us from Chattanooga with her husband, Dr. Joe Monti, and their son, Joseph Henry. Before coming to St. Dunstan’s, Tricia served for seven years as associate and interim rector of St. Timothy’s on Signal Mountain, TN, and as chaplain for Hospice of Chattanooga.