Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Springfield, Illinois)
|Cathedral Church of St. Paul|
|Location||815 S. 2nd St.
|Denomination||Episcopal Church in the United States of America|
|Founded||June 19, 1835|
|Consecrated||May 13, 1913|
|Diocese||Diocese of Springfield|
John Batchelder of Trinity Church in Jacksonville, Illinois occasionally came to Springfield starting in 1832 to hold services for the local Episcopalians. St. Paul's parish was established by Philander Chase, the first Bishop of Illinois, on June 19, 1835. He placed his nephew, the deacon Samuel Chase, in charge. Initially, the small congregation had no building of its own and so they held services in the local Presbyterian, Methodist and Christian churches. They also held services in the State Supreme Court Chamber as Chief Justice Samuel L. Treat was one of the organizers of the parish. Construction on the congregation's first church building started in the summer of 1838 on Washington Street between Third and Fourth Streets. St. Paul's first rector, Charles Dresser, lived in a house on Eighth Street that would later belong to Abraham Lincoln. It was Dresser who would witness the Lincoln's wedding vows. As the congregation grew a new church building was needed. The new edifice at Fourth and Adams Streets was consecrated by Chase on June 24, 1848.
Property on the corner of Second and Lawrence was purchased in 1908 for $10,000 and the present cathedral, designed by English-born architect John B. Sutcliffe, was consecrated by Edward Osborne on May 13, 1913. St. Paul's Church was recognized as the "Cathedral of St. Paul" as early as 1906. However, there was confusion within the Diocese of Springfield regarding its status as a cathedral. It was not until December 11, 1979 when a constitution and by-laws were adopted establishing the Cathedral Church of St. Paul that its status was clarified.