History of Church of the Messiah

By the early 1850’s the Episcopalians needed a new and larger church, so they asked Calvin Otis to design a larger church to be located at the corner of Congress and Shelby. He built an early English Gothic study building with lancet windows. He added a steeple to make the church highly visible in Detroit and made that steeple with a smaller turret. The interior of the church was completed in a very simple manner reminiscent of a New England meetinghouse. The church became St. Paul protestant Episcopal Cathedral.

At the end of the Nineteenth Century, People’s State Bank desired to build a large and impressive building. This is the extremely impressive building designed by McKim, Mead, and White located at Fort and Shelby and completed in 1901. Calvin Otis’ beautiful church was moved, stone by stone, to the corner of E. Grand Boulevard and E. Lafayette where it has stood for more than a century. Shortly thereafter, the Episcopalians began constructing their cathedral at the intersection of Woodward and East Warren. The relocated church became Church of the Messiah.