Christ Church Detroit

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Christ Church Detroit
Christ Church, Detroit MI.jpg
Christ Church Detroit is located in Michigan
Christ Church Detroit
Location in Michigan
Christ Church Detroit is located in the United States
Christ Church Detroit
Location in United States
Location960 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°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
ArchitectGordon W. Lloyd
Architectural styleGothic Revival
NRHP reference #71000423[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 11, 1971
Designated MSHSNovember 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]


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 1861, 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 1864.[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 transepts 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. The current Rector is the Rev. Emily Williams Guffey.[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 Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  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 & Staff". April 20, 2017. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "Christ Church – Detroit: About Us". March 4, 2016. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2018.

External links[edit]