The Church of the Ascension grew from a humble idea of fifteen laypeople, along with the Rev. Roderick Ward from St. Cyprians Episcopal Church in Homestead. They met in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Frank King, on May 9th 1965, for the purpose of ‘planting’ an Episcopal church in the Richmond Heights area. A few days later, on Sunday May 30th 1965, twenty-five people attended the first worship service at Tot’s Towne Kindergarten.
That service was held so close to the pastoral feast day, ‘The Day of the Ascension’; it was decided to name the church, "The Church of the Ascension". The word means ‘rising up or being lifted up’ and it has inspired the culture within the church even to this day.
Ascension has since grown into a large multi-cultural congregation, comprising of people from the Bahamas, West Indies, Africa, Central, South and North America that are on fire for Christ. Here at Ascension, we believe that anyone who enters our sanctuary will feel the warmth and love that makes us such a unique and vibrant parish.
The Church of the Ascension is 50 years strong. On May 14th we celebrated 50 years as a church. We thank God for 50 years of ministry and service. 2015 is our Golden Jubilee year!
Ascension Long Ago
Permission to establish the was granted by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. From humble beginnings, Ascension evolved into a full-fledged church and has been at its present location, 11201 SW 160th Street, Miami, FL., since 1966.
As membership increased it became necessary to provide additional facilities. Construction on a new sanctuary was completed in May 1981 and was consecrated a month later on Sunday, June 14th 1981 by the Rt. Rev. Calvin O. Scofield, Jr., the Episcopal Bishop of Southeast Florida at the time.
Ascension In 2015
The old building became the church-hall and was named ‘Founders Hall’ as a tribute to the original sixteen founders. As the church continued to grow there was a need for more ministry space so ‘Founders Hall’ was greatly renovated and converted into a community activity center in 2011.
It was named ‘The Miriam Dean Pratt Community Center, in memory of Rev. Miriam Dean Pratt (deacon) who was one of the founders. She was very active in the Richmond Heights community, created many ministries within the church, touched many lives and sadly lost her life in the act of serving God and people in His church.
The current rector is Rev. Norbert Cooper, and he has been the rector since 1988. Under his leadership, the church continues to grow and many more ministries were added. Two of his goals are, (1) Greater diversity within the church family, (2) Playing a greater role in community affairs.