Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church

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Sanctuary at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00033
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Detail of Human Head Woodwork in Sanctuary at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00034
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Detail of Choir Loft and Pipe Organ in Sanctuary at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00035
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Detail of Cross Woodwork in Sanctuary at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00036
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Detail of Thomas Berry Stained Glass Window from Balcony at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00037
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Detail of Thomas Berry Stained Glass Window from Balcony at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00571
<br>Sanctuary as viewed from balcony during Easter 2011 services at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00572
<br>Churchgoers taking their seats during Easter 2011 services as viewed from balcony at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00573
<br>Sanctuary as viewed from balcony during Easter 2011 services at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00574
<br>Detail of sanctuary ceiling as viewed from balcony at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00575
<br>Rev. Peter Smith at the pulpit as viewed from balcony during Easter 2011 services at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00576
<br>Detail of angels on balcony at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00638
<br>Facade of Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan Image Number: 00639
<br>Bell tower at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church
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--Detroit, Michigan

Location Name:  Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church (Detroit, Michigan)

Location Type:  Church (Presbyterian)

Year Completed:  1926

Architect(s):  Wirt C. Rowland

History:  

The current Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church was built to replace an earlier structure located about three miles west of the current structure.  Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian parish was organized in 1854 when the First Presbyterian Church divided into three congregations.  Over the next several decades, Jefferson Avenue’s congregation gradually began to move eastward to Detroit’s growing neighborhoods like Indian Village and the nearby Grosse Pointe area.  Due to declining membership, Jefferson Avenue parish merged with Bethany Presbyterian parish on 17 November 1917.  Bethany Presbyterian Church began as a mission of Jefferson Avenue in 1863 and became its own parish in 1883.

The merger created the need for a new building, the current church, on Detroit’s East Side.  Wirt C. Rowland, of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls was selected to design the new church.  Construction began in 1925 and the new building was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 28 March 1926.  The new building contained the sanctuary as well as the Dodge Parish House, built in part with a donation from Anna Thompson Dodge in memory of her late husband, Automobile pioneer Horace E. Dodge.  At a total cost of $1,250,000, Jefferson Avenue displays the wealth of the congregation it served.

The church is built in the Neo-Gothic style and made of New England granite.  The bell tower houses a 23-bell carillon, whose bells were forged by England’s Gillet & Johnson.  The leaded stained glass windows were made by Willet Stained Glass Company from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Also, Jefferson Avenue is home to one of only three remaining large Skinner Organ Company organs still in their original form.

Click here to visit Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church’s website.

Sources