St. Philip’s has been a part of the growing city of Annapolis since the 19th century. In 1870, St. Philip’s Colored Mission was founded by women of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church as a Sunday School for African American children. By 1874, services were held and a congregation was forming. In 1887, two buildings were purchased for worship and fellowship on Northwest Street. The location was on the edge of the Clay Street community, then a vibrant neighborhood of black-owned homes and businesses. In 1969, the parish moved to its present site on Bestgate Road.
Under the leadership of Rev. Robert M. Powell (1971-1997), St. Philip’s became an independent parish (no longer receiving ministry funds from the Diocese of Maryland). From 1997 until 1999, the Rev. Sam Edelman served as Interim Rector for St. Philip’s. During this period, the parish began construction of the Family Life Center and the facility was dedicated in March 2001. The Family Life Center, Inc. is a separate entity whose ministry is to generate and support programs and activities for the community.
In September of 1999, the Rev. Angela F. Shepherd was called to serve as St. Philip’s first female pastor. In 2006, the Rev. John Nagele, III, a retired priest from the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, joined the ministry team. In September 2007, the Rev. Pat Arey, a vocational deacon and practicing attorney, was assigned to serve the congregation. In September 2010, after serving more than ten years with St. Philip’s, Rev Shepherd answered a call from Bishop Sutton to serve as Canon of Outreach in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. In November 2010, the Rev. Melana Nelson-Amaker accepted an offer to serve as Interim Rector for St. Philip’s. Beginning August 2011 until July 2012, the Rev. Ramelle McCall served as the new Deacon-In-Charge / Interim Rector at St. Philip’s. Our Present Rector, The Rev. Randy K. Callender was called to St. Philip’s on July 1, 2012. Fr. Callender’s ministry, through teaching and preaching, is to build relationships. He feels called to help people, young and old, inside and outside the institutional church and to make it understood that all are welcome in the Episcopal Church.