Epiphany celebrated its 100th Anniversary the first week of 1933. The parish children had their own party on Wednesday the 4th, complete with entertainment. Friday, January 6th, a parish social was held and more than one hundred people were present at “one of the most enjoyable times” the parish had ever had. Epiphany held its Anniversary service on Sunday, January 8th. The church was full of parishioners and friends. Bishop Jones, grandson of Rev. Lot Jones was present, as were Mr. Crocker, Dr. Suter, the man who had been called to succeed Rev. Crocker, and many former curates. Bishop Manning gave the sermon. The Bishop praised Rev. Crocker for his devoted ministry to Epiphany: “The memory of his faithful loving and self-effacing ministry will not be forgotten.”
But 1933 was the height of the Depression. Epiphany struggled through the worst years of that era at its 35th Street location. Attendance dwindled, as did its income. Its financial situation was described as “most serious.” A third merger with another church was explored as a way to become financially sound, but Bishop Manning was opposed. Dr. Suter was intent on moving Epiphany away from the Murray Hill area that had changed so dramatically over the years. He received Bishop Manning’s and the Vestry’s support to move Epiphany to its present location on Manhattan’s “Far East Side” where there were no Episcopal Churches. The reality of the Depression caused the idea to be tabled for several years. Finally, a Parish meeting was held on December 19th, 1935 to discuss the idea of a move. On January 23rd, 1936 the Parish learned the plan would be put in motion on February 9th. The congregation moved out of 35th Street, put that church up for sale, and began its Uptown search. During this time the congregation worshipped at St Thomas Chapel, 230 East 60th Street, presently All Saints’ Church, until the new church was built. The vestry chose a site on the Northwest corner of 74th and York Avenue where Epiphany remains today. The area was being developed because of the burgeoning New York Hospital complex.The church was designed in a simplified Norman Gothic style by the firm Wyeth and King, a leading architectural firm. The pews were moved from the 35th Street Church, and continue to serve Epiphany today. On October 15,1939, the congregation attended their first service in their new church home, and the church was dedicated by Bishop Manning on October 29th. Five years later, Epiphany was consecrated October 29,1944. (The church could not be consecrated until the mortgage had been paid. ) Dr. Suter, his mission accomplished, stepped down as Rector. Epiphany’s location near the hospitals was important. In its first years on 74th Street, the clergy had no regular hospital visitation privileges, and they were only able to visit when summoned to bedsides of seriously ill patients. Soon the hospitals were able to work out a regular visiting schedule. Today’s thriving Health Care Chaplaincy is an outgrowth of Epiphany’s early mission work. RECTORS:
Rev. William T. Crocker was Rector for 29 years, from 1903 until 1933, almost one third of the then entire history of Epiphany. He celebrated the One Hundredth Anniversary of Epiphany on January 8th, 1933, and stepped down as Rector one week later. He remained involved with Epiphany as Rector Emeritus. The Rev. John W. Suter, Jr., who began as Rector on January 15, 1933, was a graduate of Groton, Harvard, Union Theological Seminary, and the Episcopal Theological School of Cambridge. Prior to being called to Epiphany, he was the Rector of St. Anne’s Church in Lowell, MA, and he served for seven years as Executive Secretary of the Department of Religious Education of the National Council under Bishop Perry. He was Rector of Epiphany until 1944. During those 11 years he was the guiding force for Epiphany’s move to, and establishment in, its current location. He left in 1944 to become Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, where he served until 1950. He later taught at St Paul’s School in Concord, NH. An author and editor of numerous works, he died in 1977.Dr Hugh Douglas McCandless was Rector from 1945 until 1972, when he retired. An alumnus of Yale and the Virginia Theological Seminary, he had been Rector of Christ Church in Suffern, NY and St. Simons-in-the-Cove on Staten Island. Dr, McCandless was involved in the New York Community, having founded the East Manhattan Hospital Chaplaincy and served as Trustee of Seamen’s Church Institute, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Orphans among others. CONGREGATION: The congregation grew once the church formally opened its doors in 1939. Many in the old congregation followed it uptown, and newcomers came as well. The Sunday School had 100 students. Liaisons were made with the hospitals nearby. The church was finally about to fulfill the broad mission outreach Bishop Manning had hoped for.Epiphany resumed its building plan following the end of World
War II. The entranceway was completed with a gift from The Pyne family in memory of Percy Pyne and Percy R. Pyne, Jr. who had been active vestry members. In the years from 1945 until 1955 the congregation increased by 60%.
In 1955 there were twenty-five or more parish organizations, including a group making surgical dressings for home and abroad, several basketball leagues for young teenaged boys, a foreign student hospitality committee, and the Released Time School where parishioners worked with youth from the area. The number of children in the neighborhood was declining, and the parish reached out to young adults who were associated with the nearby hospitals and involved them in the life of the church. The 9:30 service became a family affair, and the 12:15 Communion service was started- making Epiphany the non-Roman church with the most Sunday services in New York. By 1958, the 11 o’clock services on Sunday were so crowded people sat on folding chairs in the aisles and the ushers stood. A decision was made to exercise the option to buy the westerly lot on 74th street to expand the church, and to install a new organ. This expense was greater than the cost to build the entire church. The building campaign was headed by Sumner W. White, Jr., and more funds were raised than necessary!