St. Alexis began under the leadership of Bishop Duncan M. Gray, III. At the Episcopal diocesan “Tent Meeting” in August 2005, Bishop Gray announced a compelling vision for the diocese: One Church in Mission – Inviting, Transforming, Reconciling. This vision included several initiatives, one of which was to support a church in the Jackson area which might attract young adults, the un-churched, and those estranged from traditional church.
The Rev. Chuck Culpepper began spreading the word. A dozen or so young adults and supporters soon began weekly gatherings in home, local parks and Allin House for Eucharist, music, and sharing of spiritual journeys. It was a meaningful time “wandering in the wilderness” creating community, discovering what was essential – using wine glasses, saucers, and cloth napkins for communion.
That early community chose St. Alexis as its name. This 5th century saint was known for his association with the poor, the homeless, and pilgrims. His legacy seemed an appropriate representation for the recurring passion of that small community for creating a church that would be inviting, transforming, and reconciling.
The church found a home in the abandoned Kelly Used Furniture Store building on South Street in Jackson. After some updates, the St. Alexis building was consecrated in October 2006. The ‘storefront’ church includes a main room for worship and fellowship, a small kitchen, an office, a classroom, and a nursery. The exposed brick walls, dark laminate floors, roof beams, color scheme and industrial look offer an inviting alternative to more formal church settings.