The original St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Burgaw was established in 1908 under the auspices of the Church of Good Shepherd in Wilmington. The cornerstone was laid on November 24, 1908, on a lot in the one hundred block of West Wilmington Street with members of the Masonic lodges of Wilmington and Burgaw participating. St. Mary's was a mission, served by a priest who came once a month for the holy Eucharist and on other Sundays by lay readers from Wilmington.
In 1973, Bishop Hunley Elebash asked the Rev. Edward Small, who had retired from the Church of the Good Shepherd, to serve as priest-incharge of St. Mary's. The original building was in a bad state of repair and the congregation voted to build a new church on property donated to the parish by Harry and Virginia Williams. The present building was dedicated on May 25, 1978 and later the parish hall was erected.
A notable population increase in the Burgaw area also brought Lutherans who soon discovered there was no Lutheran Church in the vicinity. However, St. Mary's was aware of the Episcopal-Lutheran Concordat, "Called to Common Mission".
A deeper study made it clear that we could accommodate the two church traditions in one congregation. The proposal soon received the approval of the two bishops and the congregation and a new ministry evolved.
1908 ♦ OUR CENTENNIAL YEAR ♦ 2008
St Mary’s Centennial Celebration – 2008 Special Events
August 13 - The Feast of St. Mary was celebrated with a Eucharistic Service followed by a pot luck supper and a visual presentation describing history of St. Mary's.
August 24 - Dedication of the new Children's Processional Cross. The cross a tintinnabulum (meaning little bell) is made of popular wood, 101 bells and ribbons and was constructed by the children of the parish.
September 14 - Luncheon following the Eucharistic Service with a presentation of a summary of the story of St. Mary's Episcopal Church Women now renamed Every Church Women (ECW).
September - The St. Mary's Centennial Booklet was created and distributed to the entire congregation.
November 16 - Dedication of a new St. Mary's Processional Banner that was created to honor both the Centennial and future of our church.
November 23 - Day of the Centennial Celebration with special guests including a representative from the Diocese of East Carolina, clergy who have been part of St. Mary's family and other guests.
A special luncheon celebration was held after the Eucharistic service.