South entrance to Clifty Falls State Park; African Methodist Episcopal Church.
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Madison, Indiana

Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church
Courtesy of Bradley Miller

Christ Episcopal Church is the second building occupied by the Madison Episcopal parish, which was founded in 1835. Members met in various local buildings before constructing their first permanent church building in 1838. Located at Main and Grafton Streets, the first church suffered from its remote location, and the members decided to sell the 1838 building to Madison’s German Lutheran congregation. After purchasing a lot on Mulberry Street, the church vestry requested a building that resembled St. John’s Church in Louisville, initially asking St. John’s architect John Stirwalt to modify the Kentucky plans to meet the Madison congregation’s specifications. When Stirwalt did not respond, the vestry replaced him with William Russell West (one of the architects to work on the Ohio State Capitol), who designed the church to meet their expectations.

Dedicated in 1850, the brick church embodies the Gothic Revival style with its high-pitched roof, pointed arch windows and doors, and petite brick buttresses set between each window along the north and south walls. A brick tower with a steeple, pointed arch vents, and a cross-shaped finial completes the look. The original iron fence West designed still surrounds the churchyard. Inside, the church is remarkably well-preserved retaining much of its historic character. Dark, wood scissor trusses support the sanctuary ceiling. The only major changes to the building occurred in 1904 with the reconfiguration of the pews to create a center aisle, the expansion of the choir loft, and the installation of electricity.

Christ Episcopal Church is known for its American-made stained glassed windows. The Henry Hannen Co. from Pittsburgh created the west windows installed during the church’s construction. The Hannen Co. also made lancet windows for the east side, but the congregation rejected them after their initial installation, claiming the church was overcharged and the poor quality detracted from the building’s architecture. In 1851, lancet windows from Cincinnati firm I.C. and D.S. Miller and Co. replaced the originals. The 1851 East Window consists of three Gothic panels, called tryches, and a small rose window.

The church contributes to the historic significance of the Madison Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Plan your visit

Christ Episcopal Church is located at 506 Mulberry St. Click here for the Madison Historic District National Historic Landmark file: text. The church office is open daily from 9:00am until 12:00pm. For more information, visit the Christ Episcopal Church website or call 812-265-2158.

Christ Episcopal Church has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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