Christ Episcopal Church

  • 720 Riverside Avenue
  • Adrian, MI 49221
  • 517.263.1162


Christ Episcopal Church of Adrian was organized in 1838 by Rev David J. Burger who remained in charge of the newly organized parish for one year. He was succeeded by William N. Lyster, who took temporary charge until 1840, and he in turn was succeeded by the Rev Sabine Hough, Donald Fraser, Charles V. Kelley, and Richard S. Adams who, at different times, for the following twelve years were the temporary incumbents of the rectory. The services of these early years were conducted at the homes of various members, and in 1841, Bishop McCoskry administered the apostolic rite of confirmation in the old Methodist church on Toledo Street, now the church of Christ, the congregation kindly tendering its house of worship for that purpose. About this time, the old Presbyterian structure on Church street was secured, the Presbyterian society having moved into their new edifice on Maumee street, and this continued to serve as the Episcopalian house of worship until 851. In the spring of 1851, through the untiring and zealous endeavors of the Rev Rufus Murray, who had been installed as rector of the parish in 1950, an edifice was erected at the corner of East Maumee and Broad streets, at a cost of $4,432, being consecrated by Bishop Samuel McCoskry, Oct 31, 1952.

For forty-six years this building continued to serve as the house of worship, during which period it was at various times enlarged and improved. But in the meantime, it was decided to construct a new edifice , and on Sunday August 8, 1897 a special service was conducted by the rector, Rev. C. H. I. Channer, whose sermon, which was the last ever delivered in the old church, contained many highly interesting historic references. During the following month the old building was removed, and on September 28, 1897, the corner stone of the sanctuary was laid, and the first service therein was held on Easter Sunday 1898. The building committee was composed of R. A. Bury, H.V.C Hart, A.W. Carey, H.L Larwill, and E.B. marble. The architects were Spier & Rohn, of Detroit, the contractor was Saumel Pickles of Jackson, MI. The edifice with all of its furnishings, cost approximately $25,000, and it was generally recognized as one of Adrian’s most handsome sanctuaries. The year following the completion of this structure, the handsome rectory, on the corner of Locust and Church was erected with funds donated by Mrs. Mary L. Drew, in memoriam of her husband, Delos Drew and son. The following have been rectors of the parish since the year 1850: Rufus Murray, Edward McClure, Thomas Smith, Henry N. Strong, John Staunton, Benjamin F. Fleetwood, M.R. Dillonlee, Alexander Capron, William H. Gallagher, Edwin G. Knock, R. O. Cooper and C. H. I. Channer, the present able and popular incumbent, who entered upon his duties in 1888. He is also Dean of Consecrations in southern Michigan and has undoubtedly been in his present pastorate for a longer period of time than any other protestant clergyman in the county.

The new Christ Episcopal Church on Riverside Avenue will be used for the first time Easter morning. The old church was destroyed by fire in 1958