History of Christ Church Detroit

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Christ Church was founded in May of 1845 by a group who decided that St. Paul's Church, now St. Paul's Cathedral, was too crowded. The founders included names familiar to the history of Detroit: Campau, Trowbridge, Brush and Sibley.


With the assistance of an architect stationed with the Army at Fort Wayne, Lieutenant M.C. Meigs, the people designed a small wooden structure. Later known as General Meigs, the architect was to become a distinguished builder of many buildings in Washington D.C.

Fifteen years later, in 1860, when the hope of the founders was realized and Jefferson Avenue had become the residence of many important and prominent people in Detroit, the then Rector, The Rev. Benjamin Paddock (whose family still resides in the area) planned the present building.

The new building was designed by architect Gordon W. Lloyd, who made a specialty of churches, and was particularly interested in what he termed "American Gothic". Using sandstone and limestone, Lloyd orchestrated the creation of a radiant church edifice.

Consistent with the wealth of the founding families, Christ Church is rich with treasures. We are proud that Tiffany designed two of the stained glass windows and others were made by well-respected firms. The magnificent Great West Window, depicting the life of Christ, is one of the largest in the city.

 Sibley House


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The Chancel                                            St. Michaels Chapel



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