About Us - St. Edward's Mount Dora

A church filled with the Holy Spirit

St. Edward’s was organized as a mission on February 5th, 1956.  On September 23rd, 1958 the church broke ground for the new building.  It was completed February 1959 and the Laying of the Cornerstone took place March 11th, 1959.  Easter Day, March 29th, 1959 marked the first service held in the new church.  The faceted windows in the choir loft and on each side of the main door were created in 1966.  1967 brought a need for more space.  Hartridge Hall and the Sunday School Classes were added.  There is a stone in the building which is carved with “A.M.D.G. 1967.” The abbreviation is for the Latin Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or “to the greater glory of God.”  In 1969, Parish status was achieved. 
February 5th, 1974 was a day of special celebration. Free and clear of debt, the church was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. William H. Folwell, Bishop of Central Florida, one of the three dioceses into which South Florida had been divided. The consecration was 18 years to the day of that first worship service in the Hartridge parlor.
As of 2016, the Parish called Reverend Father Mark Lafler as Rector.

Our Beliefs

About our beliefs

WE ARE CATHOLIC

We are CATHOLIC in that we embrace the definition of the Christian Faith as expressed in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds; we recognize the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as primary channels of God’s grace; and we believe that the faith once delivered to the saints is preserved through apostolic succession and teaching.

WE ARE REFORMED

We are REFORMED in that we acknowledge the primacy of Holy Scripture in matters of faith and practice; we preach the “one, full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice” of the  Son of God to atone for the sins of the world; and we recognize justification of faith  in Jesus’ atoning death.

WE ARE EVANGELICAL

We are EVANGELICAL in that we believe the primary work of the Church is proclaiming  to all people the saving work of God in Christ; and we believe that the Church “equips  the saints” for a ministry of reconciliation at home, work, school and in the marketplace.

WE ARE ANGLICAN

We are ANGLICAN in that our expression of worship is guided by the the Book of Common Prayer and our theology is expressed in the 39 Articles of Religion.

WE ARE WELCOMING
We are convinced that God’s love is for everyone- no exceptions.  There is no sin, no struggle, no past or present circumstance, that lies beyond the reach of God the Father’s redemptive work through the life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ, applied to us by our Lord, the Holy Spirit.  In fact, in the last book of the Scriptures, the book of Revelation, Saint John depicts heaven as a place where humans are worshiping God forever “from every tribe, tongue, and nation.”  If this is God’s vision for the future, it is our vision for the present. 

A place to grow in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit

Meet Our Team

Our Priest: Rev. Mark A. Lafler

Our Priest: Rev. Mark A. Lafler

Priest

Fr. Mark was called to serve as our priest in July of 2016.

Before being called to St. Edward’s, Fr. Mark served as an Assistant Priest and Deacon at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Titusville FL, Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor at Fellowship of Believers in Sarasota FL, and Youth Pastor at Church of the Nativity also in Sarasota.

He was born in Hollywood FL and raised in Sarasota FL.  Fr. Mark had a dynamic conversion experience on June 25, 1993, shortly after he graduated from high school.

Fr. Mark and Tera were married in June of 1995 and together they have four children: Madeline, Meredith Hope, Mallory, and Theodore.

He received his BA from Global University in Springfield MO.  He received his M.A.T.S. from Regent College in Vancouver BC. He received his DAS from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge PA.

He was ordained a deacon at Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Orlando FL, with Bishop Gregory O. Brewer presiding.  He was ordained priest on November 28, 2015 at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, Titusville FL, with Bishop Gregory O. Brewer presiding.  Before being confirmed in the Episcopal Church, Fr. Mark was ordained a minister in the Charismatic tradition in February of 2002.

Fr. Mark enjoys reading, taking walks, drinking tea, building LEGO sets, and following the New York Mets.

He and his wife enjoy travelling, being outdoors, and spending time together as a family.

Clergy

The Rev. Mickey Maxwell

Parish Deacon

Rev. Mickey Maxwell was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on October 18, 1986.  Deacon Mickey attended the Institute of Christian Studies at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando and served his pastoral internship at St. Matthias Church in Clermont and was assigned by Bishop William Folwell to the clergy staff of St. Edward’s.  Mickey is married to Elizabeth and they have three children and five grandchildren.

The Rev. Bob Damon

Parish Deacon

Rev. Robert (Bob) Damon was born August 3, 1950 in Milford, CT.  His parents, having enough of the New England weather, moved to South Florida in 1956.  Bob was raised a Catholic in his youth but converted to the Episcopal faith in 1964.  Over the years of being an Episcopalian, Bob served many roles as a member of the parishes attended.  In 1999 he experienced the call from the Lord to seek ordination.  He went on to attend the Diocesan School of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida and completed the required Pastoral Care Experience as chaplain for VITAS.  With the support and love of his family, perseverance and the power of prayer, Bob was accepted for Holy Orders and ordained Deacon on May 30, 2015.  Bob and his wife Karin, moved to Mount Dora in May of 2018, were married on October 9, 1970.  They were blessed with two beautiful daughters.  Andrea is a clinical psychologist and resides in Massachusetts.  Amanda, a gifted special needs teacher, was called home to our Lord on August 19, 2016

The Rev. Kim Spear

Parish Deacon

Rev. Kim Spear was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on September 7, 2019.  Deacon Kim is a cradle Episcopalian and has served the church and her community for many years.  Deacon Kim attended Warner Christian University and the Institute of Christian Studies at the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida in Orlando.  Her Pastoral Field Work was completed at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland and was assigned by Bishop Greg Brewer to the parish of St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Mount Dora.  Kim is married to Mike and they have two children and one grandchild.

Parish Staff

Betty Welch

Betty Welch

Administrator to Rector

Amanda Burkhalter

Amanda Burkhalter

Bookkeeper & Business Assistant

Dan King

Dan King

Director of Family Ministries

Elizabeth Maxwell

Elizabeth Maxwell

Shekinah Director

Walter Burkhalter

Walter Burkhalter

Church Steward

Chris Moore

Chris Moore

Organist and Choir Master

Cathy Love

Cathy Love

Nursery Director

Vestry

Chloe Hatcher

Chloe Hatcher

2023

Betty Hensinger

Betty Hensinger

Senrior Warden 2023

Dennis Siewert

Dennis Siewert

2023

Andrea Lockhart

Andrea Lockhart

2024

Mike Martin

Mike Martin

Junior Warden 2024

Steve Nichols

Steve Nichols

2024

Sandy Betlach

Sandy Betlach

2025

Candace Booth

Candace Booth

2025

Evie Waterhouse

Evie Waterhouse

2025

Barbara Minkoff

Barbara Minkoff

Treasurer

Pam Bow

Pam Bow

Clerk

Preschool Staff

Heather Forston

Heather Forston

Director

Pam Makison

Pam Makison

Asst. Director

Amy Henry

Amy Henry

Teacher

Johna Metcalf

Johna Metcalf

Teacher

Kaila Gelbke

Kaila Gelbke

Teacher

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