Settlement of the area around the Manned Spacecraft Center—later to become the Johnson Space Center—set the wheels in motion to establish an Episcopal church in Nassau Bay. Among the founding members of the parish was Dr. Larry Chapman, a Seabrook physician. It was his suggestion that St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church consider establishing a school for young children. Ground-breaking for the new church and school was in March of 1966, with Chapman turning a shovel of earth after Bishop Scott Bailey and Rector Joe Johnson had done so. Construction proceeded at a hectic pace to be ready for the school’s opening in the fall of the same year.
In September of 1966, St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal School opened its doors to 78 students. The first worship service in St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church was yet to be held because the church building itself was not quite complete; however, the founders made sure that the eight classrooms were ready to receive children.
After the first year, enrollment climbed to 102, and has generally fluctuated between 85 and 150 students, with grade-levels varying according to demand in the community. Today, the original church building has become Krist Hall, a wonderful room used by both the church and school. There is a handsome, relatively new sanctuary on the spacious grounds, and expanded school facilities permit much richer curricular offerings than were initially available. A wonderful play facility designed by a playground architect overlooks sparkling Clear Lake and Ward Park, and the children delight in exploring, playing, and imagining here during their daily recess. The school continues to offer youngsters the same essentials it always has: academic excellence in a secure, joyful and nurturing learning environment. In addition to a rigorous core curriculum, St. Thomas offers all students instruction in art, Christian education, drama, library, music, physical education, Spanish and technology. School chapel services are held weekly, and the school continues to offer an intimate atmosphere with small classes and close attention to every child.
St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal School has been providing a solid educational foundation to young children for over 45 years, and is looking forward to many more years of cultivating young minds, hearts, and spirits.