Growing in Grace
Allin left New Orleans in 1952 for the position of rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe. Ann recalled that it was in Monroe that she and Jack “grew up” and flourished. The congregation of more than five hundred at Grace stood in contrast to his first post when he was greeted by seventeen members. Allin’s beginning at Grace involved an awkward transition as he replaced a popular rector of twenty years who remained in town to be with the congregation he loved. He eventually established himself and thrived in the position, learning to be at ease in a variety of social situations with numerous people from different levels of income and influence.
While at Grace, he was also involved in setting up three missions that are still operating today: St. Alban’s, St. Thomas, and St. Patrick’s. In 1954, continuing his interest in education, Allin shared in the founding of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Day School, now Grace Episcopal School. Although Allin had found his place in the closely knit community of Grace Church and grew as their parish minster, after six years in Monroe, he followed a new calling to Mississippi.