Our Parish Story
The first Episcopal Church in Cherokee County in modern times, St. Clement’s was founded as an Episcopal Mission in Canton in 1974 by a group of twenty dedicated individuals. In the early years, the congregation worshiped at the Old Brown Farm by the banks of the Etowah River. During Easter and other special services, the Church overflowed, and many worshipers sat in chairs on the lawn. Later, services were held in the old Georgia Power building on Main Street in Canton over what is now the Main Street Café.
Six members of the congregation purchased the original church building in 1977. In 1998 the parish began a total renovation of this structure. For several months during the construction and renovation, the congregation worshiped at the historic Rock Barn located near the high school on Hwy. 5 in Canton. The first service in our new building was held that Christmas Eve. On January 16, 1999, the Rt. Rev. Frank K. Allan, Eighth Bishop of Atlanta, dedicated and consecrated the new building, the stained glass window, which had been built and installed by a small group of parishioners, and the church bell which was given by a parishioner as a memorial gift.
Davis Hall, which houses Sunday school and other parish activities, was acquired in 1986. In the past few years, the congregation updated Sunday school space and equipment and provided a new playground for our children. Davis Hall has recently undergone a renovation and expansion to provide more space for study and hospitality.
As a loving and caring community of Christ, St. Clement’s welcomes all persons to worship with us and to become part of our growing family of faith! Our parish offers ample opportunity for spiritual growth and service and for nurturing the growth of others by exercising the gifts of ministry that God has abundantly given us!
What is an Episcopalian?
St. Clement’s Episcopal Church is an active congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta which is comprised of 100 congregations in the northern half of Georgia. Our diocese is a part of a confederation of other dioceses which make up The Episcopal Church and which is geographically located mostly in the United States.
For more on The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, go to https://www.episcopalatlanta.org/.
The Episcopal Church was founded in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War to continue the Anglican tradition which had been planted in this country by missionaries of The Church of England during the colonial period.
Historically, the Episcopal Church has been in active dialogue with other Christian traditions and, in so doing, has sought to clarify its faith through four broad understandings (The Book of Common Prayer, p 877).
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as “containing all things necessary to salvation” , and being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
The Apostle’s Creed as the Baptismal Symbol, and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
The Two Sacraments ordained by Christ himself – Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its admininstration to the varying needs of the nations and people called of God into the Unity of His Church.
To learn more about The Episcopal Church, go to http://www.episcopalchurch.org/.
What is an Anglican?
The churches of the Anglican Communion share a common ecclesiastical structure, a common tradition of prayers and worship, and a common doctrine of reformed catholic belief. The English reformation of the 16th century separated the English church from the authority of the Bishop of Rome and, seeking to restore the ancient structure and teachings of the early church, established a church based on what has come to be called the “via media” (the “middle way”). This via media resulted in the kind of worshiping community you find at St. Clement’s today (as well as other Episcopal and Anglican churches): a church both “catholic” and “reformed.” As a result, those who have come to our church family from other traditions, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, have found it both new and familiar.
Our common worship is based on the tradition of The Book of Common Prayer. The first English prayer book came from the best available scholarship and drew from across the Christian tradition, both East and West, by the leaders of the English Reformation in 1549. Subsequent editions, including the American prayer books (the current 1979 Book is the fourth since 1789), all stand as a testimony to the importance of common worship in expressing the belief and practices of our tradition. Worship is very important at St. Clement’s because it expresses what we believe and what we are called to do and be in the world.
Anglican doctrine is also found in various historical forms (the 39 articles, for example, found in the back of the Prayer Book). There are four fundamental expressions basic to the Anglican tradition and shared by all members of the communion: (1) that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are “the revealed word of God,” contain “all things necessary to salvation,” and is “the rule and ultimate standard of faith;” (2) that the creeds, Apostles’ and Nicene, are a “sufficient statement of the Christian faith;” (3) the centrality of the two sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, “ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by him” and; (4) the Historic Episcopate, “locally adapted to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.” (See The Book of Common Prayer, pp. 876-878.)
To learn more, go to: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/.
Who was St. Clement?
There are also many stories about the life and death of this important figure in the early church. It is recounted that the Roman Emperor sent him into a labor camp along the Black Sea and was so successful in those circumstances in bringing people to Christ that he was ordered executed by being flung into the sea attached to an anchor. In the 9th century, relics attributed to him were brought back to Rome and placed in the Basilica of San Climente where they rest today.
“. . . graciousness and humility and gentleness are with those who are blessed by God. Let us therefore cling to his blessing and let us explore what are the ways of his blessing . . . ,”
from Clement’s Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians, c. 95 AD.
“According to early traditions, Clement was a disciple of the Apostles and the third Bishop of Rome. He is generally regarded as the author of a letter written about the year 96 from the Church of Rome to the Church in Corinth, known as “First Clement” in the collection of early documents called ‘The Apostolic Fathers’. “
from Lesser Feasts and Fasts, p. 436.
The feast day of Clement is November 23rd. His symbol is an anchor-cross draped with a pallium, a bishop’s stole.
The Rev. James B. Stutler, DMin.
Fr. Jamie has been rector of St. Clement’s since 2004, having served previously in parishes in the diocese of South Carolina. He has sought to make the gospel of God’s love readily available to all the people of the parish, of all ages of all walks of every description wherever they were and wherever they were not, through his personal involvement and through liturgical and teaching innovations.
Vacation Bible School, Adult Education, and Youth Formation have all been a part of his usual work of pastor, priest, and preacher. Mission beyond the parish has led him and the people of St. Clement’s to Habitat for Humanity, Cherokee FOCUS, MUST Ministries, and Path to Shine, an outreach to local children living in poverty.
He has served in various capacities in the diocese of Atlanta and, previously, in the diocese of South Carolina: Diocesan Trustee, Executive Council, Executive Board, the Human Trafficking Task Force, the Cursillo Secretariate, Spiritual Director to youth at New Beginnings, Board of Path to Shine, Stewardship Commission, Disciplinary Commission, and various other groups, committees, and task forces.
A native of Charleston, S.C., he practiced law for ten years before being called to the ordained ministry while, after several years in a general practice, he was serving the legal needs of the poor in a rural part of the state. He received a degree of Master in Divinity (ordained deacon and priest in the diocese of South Carolina) and, more recently, a degree of Doctor of Divinity from the School of Theology of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
He has been married to Melissa since 2012. He has two adult daughters, Emily and Susanna, from the marriage of his late wife, Eleanor, and two adult stepsons, Jacob and David.
He enjoys reading and writing, the outdoors, and walking in the Appalachians. He is an unashamed Anglophile having come honestly to it by a British mother and Scottish grandparents. His home is graced with a dog, Coco, and, for his sins, a cat named Remi.