Conceived to be a
landmark, with excellence in mind, and with its
leadership sparing nothing in its creation, St. Stephen's Church
rose to prominence after its founding in 1823. Erected on the site
Franklin flew his famous kite, William Strickland, America's premiere
architect, designed a church building with a facade reminiscent of
St. Stephen's in Vienna, which endures as the first example of colonial
architecture, paving the way for the soon to come gothic revival.
The first rector, The Rev. Dr. James Montgomery, a nephew of Bishop William White and student of Bishop Hobart, set a spiritual tone which was a harbinger of a later catholic spiritualism in the Church. Subsequent leadership focused on St. Stephen's as an open center for spiritual renewal for all. A famous healing ministry, founded by The Rev. Dr. Alfred Price, led St. Stephen's through the post World War Two era. Dr. Price very much described the philosophy of this unique place when he said, "St. Stephen's Church has its roots deeply implanted in the complex streams of life which make our city a living organism of social power, for good and for evil. So, St. Stephen's is in this particular geographical spot by choice."
parish begins a new century, it faces new challenges and new
The traditional membership base of this downtown parish was eroded
ago so that the church stands in a largely retail nonresidential area.
constituencies and ministries have emerged from deep roots of the past.
unique architecture and art work has provided an inspiring backdrop for
has become, for many, a quiet spiritual counterpoise; a friendly
for those who seek a tranquil, stopping off place during their movement