The Church of the Epiphany was built in 1904 and was located at 2116 Cadillac Boulevard at the corner of Kercheval Avenue on Detroit’s lower east side. The Church of the Epiphany was an Episcopalian Church that was built in a small house-like structure that housed less than 400 parishioners. The Church of Epiphany may have been a smaller congregation, but that didn’t stop them from lasting over 70 years as a church.
In 1974, the Church of the Epiphany was sold to another congregation called Church of the Messiah. The Church of the Messiah had a new vision for the former Church of the Epiphany. That vision was to create a church that housed both black and white parishioners praying together under one roof. This was within a few years of the infamous 1967 Detroit riots and racial tension was at an all time high. The Church of the Messiah’s idea was brilliant and it worked, but unfortunately within a few years the Church of the Messiah ended up merging with another church and moving to another location on East Grand Boulevard.
In 1994, the final congregation, Word of Life Family Church, moved into the building. Word of Life Family Church used the location until the congregation disbanded.
In 2009, Word of Life Family Church closed the historic church. Shortly after the church closed their doors, a new congregation, Church in the Light Ministries, purchased the vacant church and were going to again use the church for their congregation. Unfortunately, the Church in the Light Ministries never opened and the historic church never came back to life.
By 2010, the now over 100 year-old building was in bad condition and the foundation was sinking further into the ground. This caused the entire church to become crooked and uneven. The floors began to warp, the walls began to crack, and the ceiling began to leak. Scrappers and vandals only added insult to injury.
As of 2015, the former Church of the Epiphany is still standing…..barely. The historic church has become scrapped, vandalized, and has badly deteriorated. As work crews continue to renovate the church’s community center next door, the Epiphany Community House/John Curtis Building, there are still no current plans for the actual church itself.
To see the Epiphany Community House/John Curtis Building on Detroit-ish visit: