St. Anne's History
The rich history of St. Anne’s began in 1849 under the administration of Bishop Jackson Kemper.
His first efforts failed to fully take root. In 1865, the house known as "White Pillars," now maintained as the De Pere historical museum, was purchased by the diocese. For the next 40 years, the diocese maintained it, first as a parish church — Messiah Parish—from 1872 to 1880, then as St. Paul’s Mission from 1880 to 1886. It was then maintained as a chapel until 1915, when it was sold.
The first facility known as St. Anne’s Church, located at 435 Broadway in De Pere, was built in 1927 and consecrated by Bishop Weller. In 1935 St. Anne’s opened as a mission and the Rev. Benjamin Miller was appointed vicar. St. Anne’s officially attained independent, full-fledged parish status in 1961. In 1979 the vestry (parish council) approved the acquisition of undeveloped property on what was then De Pere’s far east side.
Four years later work was begun on the new church building, leading to its dedication on Oct. 26, 1985, the 50th anniversary of the parish having been granted mission status under the name St. Anne’s.
Father Benjamin Miller was vicar during the mission years from 1936 through 1961, and was given the title "rector" with the congregation’s move to parish status. He served through 1971. Miller Hall, the current facility’s parish hall, is named in his honor.
Another long-serving rector was the Rev. William Galaty, who was with St. Anne’s from 1979 to 1997. Father Seth Richmond came to St. Anne’s in 2001 and served through 2009.