At St Francis on the Hill, we have a deep and abiding attachment
to our Episcopal roots, traditions, and heritage. The message
“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” greets us from our sign
at the entrance, and lives in our hearts as more than just a slogan.
We aspire to embody the best and most enduring of Episcopal
traditions…that of genuinely welcoming all who wish to join us in
the abundance of a life in Christ.
St Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church has been a presence on the
west side of El Paso for almost 40 years. The church was founded
in 1974, as an outgrowth of what was then St. Clement’s Episcopal
During constructions of SFOTH, the congregation’s temporary
meeting place was in the Mutual Savings and Loan building on
Sunland Park Dr, “St. Mutual’s,” where services continued from
February of 1976 until October of 1979, when construction of the
present St. Francis on the Hill was completed.
As early as 2003, following the appointment of Bishop Gene
Robinson in New Hampshire, there were rumblings of discontent
with the National Church among former St. Francis members.
In 2008 the majority of St Francis’ congregation voted to leave the
Episcopal Church and initiated a law suit against the Diocese in an
attempt to retain the church property.
Other members of the St Francis on the Hill congregation
determined to carry on as an Episcopal mission. We were invited
by Rabbi Larry Bach and the congregation of Temple Mt. Sinai to
use the Temple’s chapel for Sunday services until ownership of the
church building was resolved by the courts. St Francis on the Hill
Episcopal Church met at the Temple from March 2009 through July
The Episcopal Diocese was awarded ownership of the property by
the courts in 2011. After an absence of more than two years, the
Episcopalians of St Francis on the Hill returned on August 7, 2011.
Today, we are a growing congregation, under the leadership of
the Reverend Dr Padrecita Jeanne Lutz. We remain intentionally
and consciously inclusive and accepting, and are anchored by the
Episcopal Church's three "arms" of faith, reason, and tradition.
1974 A group of St.
parishioners begin meeting to
discuss foundation of a new
Westside Episcopal church
1975 Bishop Richard Trelease
of the Diocese of the Rio
Grande support establishment
of a Westside mission.
1976 Episcopal services
begin at “St Mutual’s” in the
Mutual Savings and Loan
building on Sunland Park
1978 St Francis on the Hill
attains parish status.
1979 Construction of St
Francis on the Hill is
completed and the St
Mutual’s Episcopalians move
to their new church home.
The Reverend Gene Myrick
serves as rector until 1990.
2008 The congregation of St
Francis on the Hill divides.
The majority of the
membership elects to sever
ties with the Episcopal
church and attempts to retain
possession of the property,
filing suit against the Diocese
of the Rio Grande for
2009 In January, the
congregation from St Francis
on the Hill accepts the
hospitality of its Jewish
brethren and resumes Sunday
worship services in the
chapel of Temple Mount
2011 The courts settle the
dispute over the St Francis
property in favor of the
diocese. On August 7,
Episcopal ministry returns to
St Francis on the Hill.