The History of Christ Church (1903—present)
The Mission at University Station
In 1903, the year Christ Church was established, the University District was a developing residential district called Brooklyn. Travel between Seattle and Brooklyn was only by boat or railroad until David Denny built the Latona Bridge in 1891. This hand-operated drawbridge carried horse-drawn traffic and streetcar tracks which extended north. In 1895, after the University moved from downtown Seattle, the streetcar station at 42nd & 14th was named "University Station" (now University Way).
The first church was built in 1906.
The 1900 census listed about 400 people in the Brooklyn Addition. Among them were the founding families of Christ Church. Col. J. N. Gilmer and family moved to E 45th & 15th NE in March of 1903. The family found it difficult to attend the nearest Episcopal church, so with some of their neighbors, including Dean Milnor Roberts of the College of Mines at the UW, they founded "the mission at University Station", named All Saints Church. The name was changed to Christ Episcopal Church later, in order to avoid confusion with another All Saints parish in the diocese.
At first they shared space with the Baptists in a hall over the drugstore at 14th NE & E 42nd. The first vicar, Rev. Dr. George Clement King, had trained in carpentry as part of his missionary preparations in Scotland. With the aid of parishioners, he undertook the construction of a wood frame chapel on the corner of NE 47th Street and Brooklyn Avenue NE. The church was dedicated on Nov. 1, 1906.
The original chapel was moved and
remodeled to serve as as a parish hall in 1914.
The church changed from a mission to a parish in 1912. In 1914, the chapel was converted into a parish hall and the current church building was erected on the corner lot. In 1921, the young women of Hyland Hall paid off the remaining $1,000 mortgage of the church, in memory of the Rev. W. H. Stone.
The Great Depression
The Rev. Paul Boynton James was rector from 1922-1942. He was also appointed student chaplain at the UW in 1922. His scholarship attracted professors from the UW including Prof. William Wilson and Dr. Frederick Padelford, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Shell Oil Station, 1931
During the Depression, the parish hall was donated to the YMCA for a gymnasium and moved to 12th NE. The church was moved to that lot and the corner was leased to Shell Oil for a gas station in order to help stabilize church income. However, lean times and disaffection with Boynton's high church orientation reduced membership and finances to a critical level. Boynton died in 1942 and the church was without leadership for two years.
The Rev. Lewis James Bailey revived university involvement during his tenure from 1944-1948. Canterbury Club was created with the Rev. David Cochran as chaplain. The diocese bought a house for him and his family; students were welcome there for tea, supper, discussions and social gatherings. Gatherings were also held in the "undercroft" or basement of the church.
When the new church house was built in 1954, an office and lounge were added for their use. The church house was dedicated on Nov. 21, 1954. This structure, erected on the corner lot, was made for offices, Sunday School classes and meeting rooms. Plans had been made to rebuild the church as well, but these were put on indefinite hold and the church building was bricked.
The corner of NE 47th & Brooklyn Ave NE, 1954
"The campus in those days [1960s] was not immune to the life beyond its borders. I remember accompanying Bishop William Lewis, Canon Rudy Devik and students to a civil rights rally in Seattle. Students were returning from voter registration trips to the South.” The Rev. Jacob (Jake) Beck, Canterbury Chaplain from 1962 to 1964.
Concern for our community continues to this day at Christ Church. We are hosting the University District Street Medicine Project that does direct health outreach to homeless people in our neighborhood. We have been involved with Neighbors in Need, Teen Feed, University Churches Emergency Fund and the founding of the Emergency Feeding Program. We have supported Multi Faith Works, participating in the annual AIDS Walk and AIDS Care teams, as well as individual parishioners working one-on-one with MFW clients. Deacon Mary Shehane, who was chaplain to Canterbury Club (now the UW Episcopal Campus Ministry) founded the Sanctuary Art Center while at Christ Church. Christ Church supports other organizations in the University District on the issue of homelessness, our parish outreach priority.
Christ Episcopal Church today.
Between 2003 and 2013, the UW Campus Ministry joined ecumenically with the ELCA at Covenant House just north of the UW Campus. Plans are in place to rejoin this ministry in 2017, while continuing to host Compline for students and others each Wednesday evening at 9:30 p.m.
Christ Church was designated a Century Corporation by the State of Washington.
Christ Episcopal Church Clergy
|1904-1909||Rev. George Clement King|
|1909-1921||Rev. Willis Henri Stone|
|1922-1942||Rev. Paul Boynton James|
|1944-1948||Rev. Lewis James Bailey|
|1948-1955||Rev. Walter William McNeil Jr.|
|1955-1958||Rev. Dr. David Stanley Alkins|
|1959-1970||Rev. Dr. Ainsley Maxwell Carlton|
|1971-1979||Rev. Henry Jesse Jr.|
|1979-1980||Rev. Joseph Irwin McKinney, Interim|
|1980-1994||Rev. Barrett Kelland Lindsey|
|1994-2012||Rev. Stephen Garratt|
|2012-2014||Rev. Rachel Endicott, Interim|
|2014-now||Rev. Shelly Fayette|