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about St Francis1 850x



In 1949, eight persons met on November 30, to discuss the beginnings of an Episcopal church in Norris. During the winter of 1949-1950, the group met once a week, under the supervision of the clergy of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Knoxville. The group applied for mission status, and in July 1952, Bishop Barth accepted its petition and appointed the warden, Charles Gouffon. The first church school began with fourteen children in the home of founding member, Phelma Haslbauer.

St. Francis’ Church’s name was chosen because of its location in a wooded area where deer, birds and other wildlife were often seen. Work began on the building on May 8, 1951. The members of the mission donated hundreds of hours to the construction of the church, which was dedicated on June 28, 1953, with thirty-five communicants.

In March 1984, St. Francis’ Episcopal Church celebrated changing its status from mission to parish in the Diocese of Tennessee. Parish status enabled St. Francis’ to choose its own rector, having achieved the ability to support itself without financial assistance from the diocese. The church has been a self-sustaining parish since that time. Our church is now a parish in the Diocese of East Tennessee, upon the division of the Diocese of Tennessee into three dioceses, based on the three divisions of the state.



A parish that welcomes all, encourages the involvement of youth and gathers together at God’s table to offer our diverse gifts to serve others in the community and to advance the kingdom of God.



We Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As constituent members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world.

We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.

We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women and men serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation.


We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.

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What We’ve Achieved

  • Installation of Rev. Amanda Lippe as rector
  • A new mission statement reflecting our dedication to God and the community
  • New outdoor services and picnics during the summer
  • Monthly Taize services on Wednesday nights
  • Continuation of our annual Blessing of the Animals service
  • New ministries involving Adopt-a-Highway
  • Norris Ecumenical Refugee Support Ministry
  • Weekly services by parishioners at Norris Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • Norris Food Pantry and Clothing Closet Ministry
  • Various capital improvements including a new parish sign and parking lot with accompanying planter


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