Christ Church Detroit

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Christ Church Detroit
Christ Church, Detroit MI.jpg
Location 960 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°19′57″N 83°2′5″W / 42.33250°N 83.03472°W / 42.33250; -83.03472Coordinates: 42°19′57″N 83°2′5″W / 42.33250°N 83.03472°W / 42.33250; -83.03472
Built 1863
Architect Gordon W. Lloyd
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP reference # 71000423[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 11, 1971
Designated MSHS November 6, 1970[2]

Christ Church Detroit is an Episcopal church located at 960 East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It is also known as Old Christ Church, Detroit. It is the oldest Protestant church in Michigan still located on its original site.[3] It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1970[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[1]


Christ Church in 1899
Christ Church in 1934

Brothers Robert (Jr.) and William Stead ran a wholesale grocery business at the present site of Christ Church until the year 1844.[4] Christ Church Detroit was founded by a group of Episcopalians in 1845, who decided that St. Paul's Church (now St. Paul's Cathedral) was too crowded.[5] The founders built a small wooden church, designed by Lieutenant Montgomery C. Meigs, as its first place of worship. Fifteen years later, plans were laid for a new building on the same site.[6] In 1860, a chapel was constructed near the original structure for use while a larger church was constructed.[6] The present church, designed by Gordon W. Lloyd, was completed in 1863.[5]


The church is built in an American Gothic style, using limestone and sandstone;[5] a massive belfry with a squared-off Germanic roof[3] dominates the front facade.[6] The interior boasts trancepts with galleries and hammerbeam trusses supporting the roof.[6] All interior woodwork, save the roof, is made from local butternut.[6] There are two Tiffany windows in the church,[5] with more windows designed by other famous glass companies such as Franz Meyer and Company and J. Wippell and Co..[6]

Current use[edit]

The Christ Church building has been continuously by an Episcopalian congregation since its construction. As of 2009, the Rector was the Rev. John Talk.[7] The congregation describes themselves as "a contemporary, well-educated, multi-racial, multi-ethnic congregation carrying out Christ’s mission in the world around us, strengthened, nurtured, and guided by the presence of the Holy Spirit."[8] The next-door Sibley House serves as offices.


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Christ Church, Detroit". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Eric J. Hill, John Gallagher, American Institute of Architects Detroit Chapter, AIA Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8143-3120-3, p. 230
  4. ^ Paul Leake, History of Detroit, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912, p. 1198
  5. ^ a b c d Christ Church Detroit history page
  6. ^ a b c d e f Nola Huse Tutag and Lucy Hamilton, Discovering Stained Glass in Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-8143-1875-4, p. 49
  7. ^ Christ Church Detroit clergy and staff page
  8. ^ Christ Church Detroit about us page

External links[edit]