Christ Episcopal Church

The first Episcopal congregation in Nashville

The Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Nashville sits at the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street, and is known as one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. It represents the first established Protestant Episcopal church in Tennessee, and was started in 1823 when there were only about fifty members of the church throughout the State. The congregation founded their first church within the Nashville Masonic Hall. The church’s congregation gained popularity and size during the Civil War due to Episcopal Christians in the area banding together as a religious minority. The building itself avoided occupation by Union forces during the conflict. After the war, the congregation began raising money to construct their new building. The congregation originally didn’t want to take out loans but wound up $50,000 short of their goal. Francis H. Kimball designed the new building in the 1890s. Kimball is famous in the United States for designing The Empire State Building, Manhattan Life Insurance Building and many skyscrapers in Manhattan. The church’s gothic architecture suited it well to its neighbor, Union Station, giving the area a unique architectural quality. In the buildings final stages, the congregation had to take out another $20,000 loan to complete the roof. The Christ Church Cathedral finally opened its doors in 1894.The interior of the church is known for its extremely ornate nature, including the pulpit and the high alter designed by Italian master wood smith, Melchior Thoni. The original stone for the church was quarried on the construction site. It is also known for its choral music as well as its Russell Hart bell tower addition in 1974. To this day, the Cathedral continues to hold daily prayer and singing.

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900 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203