The history of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
St. Michael’s had its beginnings on the campus of Tennessee Technological
University. In 1948, several Episcopal students formed a Canterbury Club, meeting in the Home Economics building and holding services in the cafeteria. These students sought out Episcopalians in the community and this expanded group began to meet in two rooms of a local home.
In January 1949, St. Michael’s was received into the Diocese of Tennessee as an
organized mission with a nucleus of ten residents and three students. In 1950, a small house was purchased in which services were held.
The property that is St. Michael’s current location at the corner of North Washington and 7th Street was purchased in July 1956, and, on August 18, 1957, a ground breaking service was held. The first service in the new church was held on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1958. A little over 10 years later, on December 19, 1968, a fire of unknown origin destroyed this structure. The Friday and Christmas Eve services were held at the Wesley Foundation Arena, but parishioners worked to be able to return to St. Michael’s as quickly as possible.
Church members provided a water-proof covering for the concrete slab that was now the roof of the basement and cleaned the basement which had been blackened by the fire. Services were held there until a new nave was constructed. During this construction, an approximately 20-foot extension was added to the front, enlarging both the basement and nave. This building was reconstructed to be like the original structure and was completed by the end of 1969.
A mortgage-burning celebration was held in November 1977, and, in January 1978, St. Michael’s was received into the Diocese as a self-supporting parish. The house with lot behind the church was purchased in 1978 and used as a parish house. The house was later sold and moved; the property is currently used for parking and as an area for parish gatherings and recreation. In 1986, an extension was constructed, consisting of a large parish hall, kitchen, offices, conference room, teen room, and class rooms. A columbarium, installed in a room adjacent to the nave, was dedicated in January 1996. The Christus Rex stained glass window was installed and dedicated Spring 1999.