In 1905, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew's, an active group of lay readers at St. James Church on Country Street [closed in 1964], recognized the need for an Episcopal mission in the North End of New Bedford. A store was rented on North Front Street and the first service was conducted on October 1st of that year. Within a few months, it was necessary to move to a larger store at 1681 Acushnet Avenue. In 1906, St. James' vestry purchased land on Belleville Road for future expansion of the mission and in 1907, the first floor of Russell House was built to accommodate both church and parish house. In 1912, a series of additions including a second floor created the parish house as we know it today. Church services were held on the second floor of Russell House until the dedication on December 9, 1923, of our present church, designed by architect Charles C. Coveney in the English Gothic style.
Always a modest family-oriented parish, the early founders of St. Andrew's were mostly skilled cotton-mill operatives from England who lived within walking distance of the church. With the increased use of the automobile after World War II, St. Andrew's parishioners now live throughout New Bedford as well as the surrounding communities of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Assonet, East Freetown, Fairhaven, Rochester and Lakeville and beyond.