Church of the Messiah, Detroit, MI
The Church of the Messiah is a 149-year-old non-traditional Episcopal church in lower Eastside Detroit, serving the needs of the Islandview community. We are a mixed race congregation which is made up of Black, White, Asian and Latino members.
We do much more than preach on Sunday and look out for poor people. We fill the gaps. We are a grass roots, boots-on-the-ground organization that offers everything from affordable housing to employment services, medical services, and free internet for an entire community. We also have an 84 member marching band that focuses on literacy, and we proudly organize the Silence the Violence march, one of the largest anti-gun violence marches in the country.
We put our money and our faith and our action where our mouth is. We have the name and reputation to be able to do that, and that’s what it is that we stand on! We do things for our community because it’s right. We do it here in our inner city because that’s where its needed. Doing anything less would be committing spiritual malpractice. Here at the Church of the Messiah, we are making a difference and we eagerly welcome you to join us!
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History of the Church
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.
Otis 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.