St Stephen's Episcopal Church

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St Stephen's Episcopal Church is a parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama located at 3775 Crosshaven Drive in Vestavia Hills' Cahaba Heights community. It was founded by the Reverend Douglas Carpenter in 1973. Its main worship space features clear glass windows and is nestled among trees. This has given the church the nickname "God's tree house."

In 2015, the church's rector, Russell Kendrick was elected bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

In 2021, the church placed solar panels on the roof on a recent edition. Bishop Glenda Curry, ascended in a cherry-picker to bless the new panels.

On Thursday, June 16, 2022 a lone 71-year-old gunman killed three people at a potluck dinner. This incident garnered national attention. The church dedicated a labyrinth garden, designed by John Wilson of Golightly Landscape Architecture, in memory of the three shooting victims in 2023.



  • "Russell Kendrick" (June 18, 2021) Wikipedia - accessed October 21, 2021
  • McClintock, James B. (October 14, 2021) "Bishop in a Bucket: Southerners Bless Solar Energy" The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (June 17, 2022) "St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church founder left with heartbreak, questions after deadly shooting" The Birmingham News
  • Korkzan, Shireen (June 20, 2023) "Alabama Episcopal church observed first anniversary of shooting with worship, unveiled labyrinth memorial garden." Episcopal News Service.

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