Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy 149th Anniversary St. John's Church!

149 years ago today, December 27th (the Feast of St. John), our parish was founded.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW - NEXT YEAR, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27th, 2008,
we will kick-off our 150th Anniversary Celebration, lasting until November 10th, 2009 (The 150th Anniversary of the dedication of the Chapel).
Details will be announced in the coming months as plans begin to come into being.
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Updated from this blog's entry on December 27th, 2005
On The Feast of St. John the Evangelist in 1858, in the home of Mr. Henry Porter Baldwin, St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit came into official existance. A group of men had met twice, on December 6th and 13th (St. Nicholas' and St. Lucy's Day) to discuss the need to found a new parish 'out in the country', since the 3 existing parishes in the city were all on the river. Surely, they thought, Detroit would begin to expand northward, and not just up and down the Detroit river. Henry Porter Baldwin, then Senior Warden at St. Paul's (now the Cathedral Church later relocated further north at Woodward and Warren) donated a parcel of land where the Church and Parking Lot now stand, surrounded by what was then farmlands and orchards. He also paid for the construction of a Rectory (now demolished) and the Chapel. But it was on St. John's Day that the parish officially came into exisitence with the signing of articles of incorporation and the election of Wardens and a Vestry (hence the choice of the name St. John's) Within the first year of its exisitence St. John's built the Chapel (dedicated November 10th, 1859) found a Rector in Maine (William Armitage), formed a boys choir, and even grew out of the original building!!! Within one year of its founding St. John's was making plans to build a second building for worship (completed in 1861), to seat at least 1000 people which eventually sat 1300 before the reconfiguring of the building in the 1930's.We give thanks to Almighty God for those men and their famiies who gave of their prayers, fortunes, and time to get this parish up and running: Henry P. Baldwin, George C. Jones, John M. Reily, John P. Cook, William Brodie, John Roberts, John Rumney, James M. Johnson, Theodore J. Barry, George W. Rose, B.G. Stimson, L.L. Tiffany, T.B. Leavenworth, Henry Heames, Andrew Backus, A. Richmond, Robert M. Reilly, J. Parkinson, T.H. Armstrong, Hamilton Miller, John Campbell, Thomas G. Scott, James W. Hanford, John W. Strong, George Swift.