The Rev. Edward B. Gammons, Jr.
After All Saints became a year-round parish, our first long-term rector, the Rev. Edward B. Gammons, Jr., undertook our spiritual care and guidance on February 12, 1989, and remained with us for 12 years. During his tenure All Saints enjoyed steady growth, drawing parishioners from several communities. He introduced Saturday evening Eucharist in the churchyard in summer and a healing service in the sanctuary on Thursday mornings all year.
His preaching style was emphatic and often scholarly (legacies of his Harvard education and many years teaching in an Episcopal school). Blessed with a rich baritone voice, he often sang parts of the liturgy, particularly at festival services. And, he was known to caution us that “the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.”
Beyond the pulpit, Rev. Gammons exhibited remarkable stamina and dedication. As a true Boston Red Sox (and Bruins) fanatic, he was a catalyst for parish trips to minor league baseball games in nearby Lakewood and Trenton; a history buff who organized a Civil War roundtable; a skilled oarsman who delighted in taking children (and adults) for canoe rides in Scow Ditch (the small stream behind the churchyard); and a steady hand mixing the Alleluia Punch at the Great Feast following Easter Vigil.
During his tenure as rector, Rev. Gammons served as Dean of the Monmouth Convocation, supported ecumenical services with local churches, and participated in a pulpit exchange program. Membership grew significantly during his tenure—so much so that we launched a 3-year $1,000,000 Capital Fund Campaign in 2000 to purchase the adjacent residential property south of Bristol Hall (our parish center). The project enabled us to expand our fellowship space, office, and Christian Education area.