Vaiden, Mississippi


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St. Clement’s Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church Viewed from the East

Episcopal Church (Bottom Photo) and Methodist Church Before Steeple Was Added (Top Photo)


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Clement of Rome

Born c.  35 A.D. – Died c. 99 A.D.

Aged 63 - 64

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c. 1000 portrayal at Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kyiv

Pope Clement I (Latin: Clemens Romanus; Greek: Ancient Greek: Κλήμης Ῥώμης, romanized: Klēmēs Rōmēs) (c. 35 AD – 99 AD) was bishop of Rome in the late first century AD. He is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as the bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 AD to his death in 99 AD.  He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch.

Few details are known about Clement's life. Clement was said to have been consecrated by Peter the Apostle, and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the late 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Peter. The Liber Pontificalis states that Clement died in Greece in the third year of Emperor Trajan's reign, or 101 AD.

Clement's only genuine extant writing is his letter to the church at Corinth (1 Clement) in response to a dispute in which certain presbyters of the Corinthian church had been deposed. He asserted the authority of the presbyters as rulers of the church on the ground that the Apostles had appointed such. His letter, which is one of the oldest extant Christian documents outside the New Testament, was read in church, along with other epistles, some of which later became part of the Christian canon. These works were the first to affirm the apostolic authority of the clergy. A second epistle, 2 Clement, was once controversially attributed to Clement, although recent scholarship suggests it to be a homily by another author. In the legendary Clementine literature, Clement is the intermediary through whom the apostles teach the church.

According to tradition, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan; during this time he is recorded to have led a ministry among fellow prisoners. Thereafter he was executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Clement is recognized as a saint in many Christian churches and is considered a patron saint of mariners. He is commemorated on 23 November in the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Church. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity his feast is kept on 24 or 25 November.

. . . .

According to apocryphal acta dating to the 4th century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea. The legend recounts that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built shrine containing his bones. However, the oldest sources on Clement's life, Eusebius and Jerome, note nothing of his martyrdom. 

The Inkerman Cave Monastery marks the supposed place of Clement's burial in the Crimea. A year or two before his own death in 869, Saint Cyril (born Constantine, 826–869) brought to Rome what he believed to be the relics of Saint Clement, bones he found in Crimea buried with an anchor on dry land. They are now enshrined in the Basilica di San Clemente. But there are also other traditions about an ancient veneration of the relics in Chersonesus and the translation of the head to Kyiv. Other relics of Saint Clement, including his head, are claimed by the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves in Ukraine.

Source (with footnotes) can be found at


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St. Clements’ Episcopal Church in Vaiden, MS - 150th Anniversary – 03/29/2009


Church Photo 1 – 03/29/2009

Church Photo 2 – 03/29/2009

Inside Photo

Collins Family and Bishop Duncan M. Gray, III – 03/29/2009

Bishop Gray and Clarence Pierce – 03/29/2009


150th Anniversary Church Bulletin

Photo 1     Photo 2     Photo 3     Photo 4     Photo 5


150th Anniversary Guestbook

Page 1     Page 2     Page 3


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Photos – August 2006

Courtesy of Mark Shands

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Church Service – 10/29/2006

Photos Courtesy of  Janet Adkerson

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Photo 4Photo 5

Church Bulletin (.pdf format)

Bulletin Courtesy of Dennis Welch



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Photo 4 -- Photo 5 -- Photo 6

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Photo 10

View From Highway 51

April, 2000 -- # 1 -- April, 2000 -- # 2

April, 2000 -- # 3 -- April, 2000 -- # 4

October, 2000 -- # 1 -- October, 2000 -- # 2

October, 2000 -- # 3

(Courtesy: Susie James)

October, 2000 -- # 4

(Courtesy: Susie James)

Portrait of St. Clement's



Photo 1 -- Photo 2 -- Photo 3

Photo 4 -- Photo 5 -- Photo 6

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Photo 10

October, 2000 - Photo 1 -- October, 2000 - Photo 2 -- October, 2000 - Photo 3

October, 2000 - Photo 4 -- October, 2000 - Photo 5 -- October, 2000 - Photo 6

October, 2000 - Photo 7 -- October, 2000 - Photo 8 -- October, 2000 - Photo 9

October, 2000 - Photo 10


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St. Clement's Episcopal Mission was organized in 1859. Plans were made to build in 1860, but with the war, depression and Yellow Fever, it was not until 1876 that the church was built. On November 8, 1876, Bishop William M. Green made his first trip to the new church and six persons were confirmed.

The membership of St. Clement's has never been over 50 and at the present time only 12 members are on the church roll. Not only is it the smallest church in Vaiden, it is the smallest active Episcopal Mission in Mississippi.

The Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians have always been helpful, especially as choir volunteers.  “If all the tales are told, retell them, brother, and if few attend, let those who listen feel.”

The building is brick of gothic architecture, the wall panelled with curly pine. Memorial windows in the front east windows depict the Madonna and Child episodes in the life of Christ. In 1911, the church was remodeled and a brick tower added.  One can say it is not large but sufficiently elegant.

Regardless of its size, St. Clement's has hosted many Rites of Baptism, and has welcomed children, as well as adults, into its fold.

Two of the best known ministers to serve at St. Clement’s have been the Rt. Reverend Girault M. Jones, retired Bishop of Louisiana, and Rev. Sterling Gunn, father of Bishop George P. Gunn of Southern Virginia.  Rev. Van W. Shields was rector when the church opened its doors in 1876.  Rev. Gunn’s contributions are still remembered by older townspeople today and his name is held in benediction by all residents who knew him, regardless of creed.

During the centennial year 1976, St. Clement’s will be calling on former ministers, W.P. Jones, M.L. Agnew and Jones Hamilton to assist with the services.  The presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, former Mississippi Bishop John M. Allin, preached at St. Clement’s on three occasions.

Ministers: Alexander F. Samuel, 1868; Benjamin Halstead, 1869-1872; Stephen H. Green, 1873-1876; Van Winder Shields, 1876; James A. Matthews, 1877-1878; William W. DeHart, 1879-1880; Oliver Wilson, 1880-1881; William P. Brown, 1882-1885; Henry A. Skinner, 1886-1887; James M. Magruder, 1888-1889; William H. Phillips, 1889-1890; James B. Fitzpatrick, 1889-1901; E.S. Gunn 1902-1908; David T. Johnson, 1908-1911; Malcolm W. Lockhart, 1912-191?; Edward McCrady, 1914-1915; E.A. DeMiller, 1915-1916; E.S. Gunn, 1916-191?; George V. Harris, 1920-1922; John B. Caughey, 1923-1928; Girault Jones, 1928-1929; Jones S. Hamilton, 1929-1934; J. Ord Cresap, 1934-1935; Winfred P. Jones, 1935-1940; Charles Liles, 1940-1951; Michael T. Engle, 1954-1955; Roy C. Bascom, 1955-1958; Reynolds S. Cheney, 1961-1963; M.L. Agnew, 1967-1968; Michael Bell, 1967-1968; Sam Monk, 1972-1975.

A complete history of St. Clement's Church has been written by Mrs. Emily Barksdale Humphrey.   The following link is a complete transcription of Mrs. Humphrey’s book.  Used and posted on with permission on 05/07/2007 from Mr. Clarence Pierce of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church.
CLICK HERE for the complete transcript.

May its Peace and Beauty Ever Dwell

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