The history of the Church of Our Savior began in 1913 when Mazie Calder Goode, a parishioner at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Melbourne envisioned an Episcopal Church to serve the Tillman area, south of Melbourne, later renamed Palm Bay. After several attempts at organizing the new ministry, a congregation was finally formed, and the first official service was held on July 23, 1961. At the Diocesan Convention of May 1, 1962, Church of Our Savior was admitted as an organized mission in the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida, but would later become a part of the reorganization of the new Diocese of Central Florida.. The new mission was sponsored by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Melbourne, and under the leadership of the Reverend Fr. Alexander Boyer. The Reverend James Radebaugh was appointed the first vicar to the fledgling congregation on July 1, 1962.


On September 1, 1962, the congregation separated from Holy Trinity and became a Diocesan mission. Fr. Radebaugh , a courageous priest, took bold steps that would historically change his congregation forever, and would fulfill our calling of respecting the dignity of every human being. Fr. Radebaugh was moved by the story of two black Americans, Mrs. Ossie Hill Jackson, and Mr. Perry Hughes, devout Episcopalians living in Melbourne - Episcopalians who were forced to travel very long distances to make their corporate communion in all–black Episcopal parishes because of a segregated society. This kind priest extended an invitation to the two individuals to become members of his congregation. Thus began Church of Our Savior’s unique role of setting an example for many of the other segregated Christian denominations in our city, and, hence, its long march of being a congregation where all of God’s children are welcome. Our Savior still remains the model for a truly integrated congregation in our Diocese. As a result, its kindergarten, in existence then, opened to serve children of all ethnicity on August 29, 1966.


On February 8, 1983, the church building was destroyed by fire, and the presiding priest, the Reverend James C. Dannals, initiated the rebuilding of the new church. On September 23, 1984, the Rt. Reverend Herbert Edmondson, former Bishop of Jamaica, officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new church building. The first Eucharist was celebrated in the new sanctuary on June 8, 1986. Under Fr. Dannals, the Church was raised from mission status to parish status. Two deacons came on board: The Reverend Nancy Bradley, sponsored by our parish, also became one of the very first female deacons in our Diocese, and the Reverend Mary Ellen Appleton. In February, 1989, the Reverend James C. Dannals resigned, and the parish entered its first “search” for a Rector.

The Reverend William H. Hazelett was called as Rector on February 25, 1990. Under Fr. Bill Hazelett, the Parish continued to grow with the emphasis on Outreach Ministry. During Fr. Hazelett’s ministry, our Outreach ministry took on both a new and global approach. Under
Fr. Bill’s leadership, the parishioners of Church of Our Savior organized the very first Caribbean Festival in Brevard County. Admittance to the festival was free of charge, and open to the public. Extra funds acquired from the festival were donated to victims of natural disasters in the United States, the Caribbean Basin, and Central America. In1993, Fr. Hazelett invited the Reverend Benedict Vani, a refugee from war-torn Liberia to join the staff as Parish Chaplain. Fr. Vani’s tenure would lay the foundation for furthering our global ministry through his voluntary ministry at Church of Our Savior. Church of Our Savior remains in global partnership with St. Mary’s, Bolahun, Liberia even as the parish, under the new leadership of Fr. Momo, continues to rebuild in post-civil war Liberia. 


On July 15, 1998, The Reverend John Wesley became the new Rector of Church of our Savior. The Vestry embarked on a fresh approach to minister to families with young children. A yearly vacation Bible School in the summer was organized and it became very successful. With the continued focus on outreach, Fr. Wesley brought Deacon Debra Vann aboard, and she would champion the cause of homeless families in Brevard County. Thus, the fledgling organization, Family Promise of Brevard became a major ministry. Deacon Vann would later be ordained a priest at Church of Our Savior. While we no longer house these families on our premises, the parish remains in active partnership with Family Promise of Brevard.

Meanwhile, Fr. Wesley continued to focus on the planting of a new church in S. W. Palm Bay: a vision that the Diocese prayed would materialize over many years. Our prayers were answered when the Reverend Ronald Manning joined the staff on a part- time basis to help facilitate the extension of a new ministry in West Palm Bay under the sponsorship of Church of Our Savior. Under Fr. Manning and his Assistant, Pastor Hazel Kundinger, Blessed Redeemer was received into the Diocese on January 29, 2005. Upon Fr. Manning’s retirement, Pastor Hazel Kundinger became the new vicar, and guided the new mission through the building and completion of its new sanctuary, and beyond. 


Fr. Wesley’s resignation in January, 2006 paved the way for the new rector, the Reverend Loren Fox in May, 2007. Fr. Loren’s work in evangelism abroad brought an added dimension to the global Outreach Ministry of Church of Our Savior. Fr. Fox developed an interest in an unreached people in Asia, and he created a group which would serve as a support and a prayer partner in this ministry. Later, he would spend several summers ministering to this unreached group.
With the continued emphasis on bringing children and young families into the Parish, Fr. Loren developed a partnership with Church of our Savior and Palm Bay Elementary School through a reading program. In addition, the parish would host family nights for the students, parents and faculty on its premises. This partnership worked very well. Also, our Educational building is currently being used by a small private school, Lifeline Academy.

A new and informal worship service at 5:00 P.M. was also added to the list of other Sunday services, with the hope of attracting the youth and young families. This fledgling congregation appears to be thriving. On May 7, 2017, Fr. Loren fox resigned his position at Church of Our Savior. Along with his wife, Linda, both have been called to the mission field abroad. 


On September 1, 2018, the Reverend Dr. Dee Wellington Bright, (originally from the Anglican Province of West Africa in the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia), became Rector at Church of Our Savior with the goal of continuing the proud Anglican tradition of this parish in spreading the gospel through a program of Congregational Evangelism and ministry to the younger generation of children, youth, and young families, as well as, maintaining a vibrant ministry for other groups in the parish. With this new pastoral leadership, the church is continuing to build on its heritage as a multicultural congregation with a heart for the world.

Rev. Dr. Dee Wellington Bright, Rector


(321) 723.8032
1000 Jersey Lane NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905