History of Christ Episcopal Church, Rolla

The facade of Christ Church fronting on Main Street illustrates the three stages of growth of the church from 1882 to the present.

The first Episcopal services were held above the Masonic Hall in 1869. Later a mission was established with visiting clergy. In 1871 the School of Mines and Metallurgy opened and the first director, Charles Williams, brought added energy to the efforts of the women to build a worship facility. In 1874 the Bishop confirmed three adult women and St. Margaret's Guild was formed.

The Second Director of the School of Mines, Charles Edmund Wait, who served from 1877 to 1888, possessed architectural skills and drew up the plans for the first church. The "founder" of modern Rolla, Edmund Bishop, gave a choice lot at 10th and Main Street and with the support of parishioners and volunteer labor, the first church was built on this corner site, now the right end of the present structure. Initial services were held on Easter, 1882.

The new parish was energetic and resourceful and added to the church with a bell tower, various stained glass windows, and an organ. The property was increased and a parish hall added in 1925.

As the parish had outgrown the original small frame church, plans were made for a larger, more permanent brick structure on the same site. In 1950 the new enlarged church was built and included a bell tower and rector's offices. That phase is shown from the right of the photo up to the indentation of the porch for the next phase of expansion, started in January, 2002.

The new church expansion was sufficiently completed to allow Easter Services in 2004. The old part of the church was converted into a modern kitchen-supported parish hall. The new addition which extends to the left end of the building contained the new sanctuary, with double the seating capacity, the transferred St. Margaret's Chapel and Columbarium, and modern air conditioning and heating systems throughout.