North Woodward Congregational Church

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North Woodward Congregational Church
North Woodward Congregational Church.jpg
Location8715 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°22′46.95″N 83°4′48.83″W / 42.3797083°N 83.0802306°W / 42.3797083; -83.0802306Coordinates: 42°22′46.95″N 83°4′48.83″W / 42.3797083°N 83.0802306°W / 42.3797083; -83.0802306
ArchitectHugh B. Clement
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival, Other
MPSReligious Structures of Woodward Avenue TR
NRHP reference #82002905[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPAugust 3, 1982
Designated MSHSSeptember 3, 1998[2]

The St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is a church located at 8715 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It was built as the North Woodward Congregational Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982,[1] and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1998.[2]


The North Woodward Congregational Church was built in stages, with a small chapel, designed by the firm of Malcomson and Higginbotham,[3] on the site of the present church constructed as early as 1907. The construction of the main sanctuary began in 1911 and was completed in 1912.[4] Sections were added, with the most recent, the church house, being added in 1929.[4] By the 1950s, the congregation had substantially moved out of Detroit, and the building was sold to the St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church congregation.[5] This congregation had been organized on July 8, 1917, as St. John's Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.[5] A State of Michigan historical marker commemorates this church.[5] The official denominational name was changed from "Colored" to "Christian" in 1954. St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was the first C.M.E. church established in the state of Michigan and, as of 2009, it remains the largest and most recognized Christian Methodist congregation in the state. The Reverend Dr. Joseph B. Gordon, a native Detroiter, was appointed as pastor in 2008. In August 2014, Rev. Dr. Claude Bass became the church's pastor. In August 2018, Rev. A Richard Doss became the church's pastor.


The architect retained by the Congregationalists was Hugh Clement. He designed a Gothic red brick church with limestone trim, having Prairie and Arts & Crafts influences.[6] The building is lower than many Gothic churches, as it lacks a bell tower or lantern.[4] The historical site also includes nine associated row houses along Gladstone Avenue.[6]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "North Woodward Avenue Congregational Church". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  3. ^ Eric J. Hill; John Gallagher; American Institute of Architects, Detroit Chapter (2003), AIA Detroit: the American Institute of Architects guide to Detroit architecture, Wayne State University Press, p. 209, ISBN 0-8143-3120-3
  4. ^ a b c North Woodward Avenue Congregational Church / St. John’s Christian Methodist Episcopal Church from
  5. ^ a b c North Woodward Avenue Congregational Church from
  6. ^ a b St. John C.M.E. Church from the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department

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