St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish
140 Chestnut Drive
Post Office Box 14
Blowing Rock, NC 28605-0014
Church Office Hours
Monday - Thursday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
To contact members of the Vestry, please contact the Church Office.
The Rev. Richard Lawler, Rector
The Rev. Sam Tallman, Curate
James Bumgardner, DMA, Director of Music
Greta Wilson, Parish Administrator
Joe Raulerson, Financial Secretary
Bill Stroh, Sexton
Laura Coston, Director of St. Cecilia's (Children's) Choir
Leah Wilson, Youth Director
Natalie Bovino, Meagan Lawler, Ansley Martin, Caroline Smith - Nursery Attendants
The Rt. Rev. Gary Gloster, Assisting
Robert Kling, Altar Guild
Page Parsons - Flower Guild
Garland Myers - Ushers
Michelle Curry - Acolytes
Greta Wilson - Chalicer bearers
St. Mary of the Hills was built in 1918 and dedicated in 1921 as the Susie Parker Stringfellow Memorial Church. With the generous gift of Elliott Daingerfield’s painting of St. Mary the Virgin, the name was changed to St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Mission. St. Mary of the Hills became a parish in 1972.
St. Mary of the Hills houses within the confines of the grounds several items of interest, including the following:
- The painting of St. Mary which hangs above our retable by Elliot Daingerfield, an artist of national renown who was a summer communicant at St. Mary’s for over 50 years.
- Four bells that were cast in Baltimore and installed in 1921, electrified in 1951, and still ring daily on the hour. The largest was dedicated to the men from Watauga County who fought in World War I. The ivy on the tower housing the bells is said to have originated from a sprig growing in the cloister at Westminster Abbey.
- "The Offering" - a statue of the Virgin offering her Son to the world completed by noted sculptor Marjorie Daingerfield Howlett - longtime communicant at St. Mary’s and daughter of Elliott Daingerfield. The sculpture is located in the Mary Garden beyond the east church wall.
- The stained glass windows installed in 1977, 1990, and 1993, which depict the life of Christ.
As the Congregation of St. Mary’s continued to grow, an addition was completed in 1994 to maintain the integrity, beauty, and uniqueness of the original structure. In the year 2000, a second floor addition over the Parish Hall was built to accommodate our need for increased Sunday School space.
"The Annunciation", a sculpture by local artist and communicant Alex Hallmark, was placed on the gable facing Sunset Drive in April of 2002.
In February of 2003 the Stations of the Cross were completed and installed in the Nave. These beautiful objects of devotional art were designed and cast by Alex Hallmark.
A beautiful new set of kneelers for the church were dedicated in the summer of 2005, hand-stitched by communicants.
Funds for a new organ - built by Lively-Fulcher - were given by an anonymous St. Mary's couple, which spurred a complete renovation of the nave in 2014. The renovation included both structural and insulating work to ensure conservation of resources and the continuing structural integrity of the church into the next century.