In 1887 a small group in the neighboring town of Encinitas set out to build a small church for the community. The chapel was constructed out lumber sourced from the giant redwood of Northern California. Originally known as the Encinitas Methodist Church, it was later moved to San Marcos in 1902 and placed on the corner of Pico and San Marcos Blvd. It was quickly joined by another building originally belonging to the Richland Church of Eastern San Marcos. These two buildings were spliced together to create the cross-shaped structure you see today. After many years in the center of town, the church was moved to its present location overlooking Rose Ranch Road and Mulberry. This chapel is a true jewel and historical milestone of North County, San Diego.
The San Marcos Historical Society gave the church at the corner of Pico and San Marcos Boulevard to Grace Episcopal Church. Under the direction of Rev. Johnson the church was moved to its present location at 1020 Rose Ranch Road. On November 4, 1984, Grace Church was dedicated. The ability of Rev. F. Ted Johnson to put it all together will always be remembered by those of us who witnessed his ability and dedication.
When Bishop Gethin Hughes started the Season of Transformation, Rev. Eric Menees was at Grace Episcopal Church and many of us gave additional financial support to upgrade the church. The wall on the north side of the church was removed and the area where the church offices had been was opened up to be where the choir and organ are now. The pews that had been given to us by St. Bartholomew in 1984 were replaced by ones that fit better, and new carpet was installed. The steps to the east of the main entrance were installed. A new exit from the north side of the church was also installed. As an interesting side note, this transformation began on September 11, 2001. lt was comforting for those who were here on that day to be a part of a new life on such a tragic day.
In 2005 we realized a long-time goal of becoming a self-sustaining Parish after years of being a Mission Church. In September 2006, Rev. Eric Menees left Grace and Rev. William Lieber was asked by the bishop to be our interium priest. On December 7, 2008, Rev. David Marshall joined the church and remained its Priest-in-Charge until April 2012. Then Rev. Hugh Tudor-Foley was our transitional priest until the end of 2013. In December 2013, the Rev. ClayOla Gitane joined the Grace family as our Priest-In-Charge. She was the first woman priest called to Grace and served until August 2016. In May of 2018 Rev. Gwynn Lynch, our interium priest since May 2017, became our Priest-in-Charge and served until January 2020 when she was called to be the Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese.
In 2018 we started a capital campaign fund and were able to do much needed repair work to the church and coach house. All dryrot was removed, the porches were replaced and the church received a new coat of paint. In 2019 we were able to replace the roof on both the church and coach house. In 2020 Rev. Dr. Frank Munoz became Grace’s current Priest-in-Charge. Also in 2020 we had a disastrous flood in the coach house after a torrential rain. With the help of insurance money we gutted and refurbished it with a completely new kitchen, carpeting and cabinetry, and now it’s practically brand new! In 2021 we started a new campaign to revitalize our landscaping and build a labyrinth for the community.