On Sunday, February 26, 2017 All Saints’ Episcopal Church in downtown Lakeland celebrated the installation of Fr. Reid Hensarling as its new Rector. The Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling will serve as the 8th Rector of All Saints’ following the Rev. Dr. Al Jenkins who served as Rector for the past 26 ½ years, the longest- serving of all prior rectors. The service began at 4:00 p.m. and was officiated by the Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, Bishop of the Central Florida Episcopal Diocese and assisted by the Rev. Canon Tim Nunez both of Orlando. Priests from all over the diocese were in attendance. The service featured the combined choirs of the church as well as a brass ensemble under the direction of Kristopher Ridgley and Kevin Townsend, Music Directors. A formal dinner was held following the service.
Fr. Reid hails from Shreveport, LA having received his BS from LSU, then a MA from the University of Texas in 1981 followed by his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in May, 1992. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 5, 1992. Fr. Reid received his Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando in May, 2011. He has served in churches in Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee before accepting the position of Associate to the Rector at All Saints’ in 2003. Fr. Reid was named Priest-in-Charge by Bishop Brewer beginning January 6, 2016. Fr. Reid became the Rector at All Saints’ on November 14, 2016.
Fr. Reid and his wife Deanie have been married for over 36 years and have two grown children, Amy and David. Fr. Reid’s passion is teaching and preaching the Word of God and to that end he has conducted classes on Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening and Friday mornings. Fr. Reid can also be found running around Lake Hollingsworth on Saturday mornings with many of his parishioners.
A Bit of All Saints’ Parish History
In 1884 between Lakes Bonney and Parker there was a “considerable village consisting mostly of men” that existed called Acton. Much effort was made to construct a suitable wooden church structure for the people who were mostly from England, Scotland and Ireland. The church was known as All Saints’ but was never consecrated. Soon the village was abandoned leaving the church intact. All activity began to center in Lakeland where people had parishioners but no home church. Services were held in various places including the Presbyterian Church. Someone suggested moving the wooden church from Acton to Lakeland. The old church sat on the present lot until February 17, 1924. When its last service was held, it was demolished. Some of the furnishings of that little church are now in the St. Mary’s Chapel at All Saints’ on Massachusetts Avenue. From those humble beginnings rose the imposing and beautiful structure we have today. The Lord was generous to All Saints’ in the ensuing years. The people of Lakeland have been true to their commitment to the Lord in making certain the future of the parish is in good hands with the installation of Fr. Reid Hensarling.