Epiphany Episcopalian Church

In 1894, the Episcopalians of Detroit saw a need for a mission church on the east side of the city. The church, originally named the Water Works Mission but later renamed Epiphany, was founded by 24 families in January of 1895. A short time later the church bought an old school house, and moved it across open fields to Cadillac Boulevard. This served The Church of the Epiphany until 1900, when it moved to a permanent location on Cadillac at Kercheval. This building was remodeled and rededicated at a service in December led by the Reverend Charles Arnold, who would later go on to found the Arnold Home.

Just four years later, a new church house was built on the corner of Cadillac and Kercheval. It was dedicated on January 6th, 1904. The Free Press noted that "The structure, which is frame, built in a substantial manner, cost about $3,000, and has a seating capacity of 350 in the main room. In addition to this there is the rectors study, parlors, and a kitchen. It is finished in a modest but neat style, and forms a credible addition to the church property." The church was closed for most of the summer of 1908 for renovations and enlargements, reopening in September.

The east side of the city continued to grow, and the church with it. Expecting the need for a new church, property was bought to the north of the existing building in 1924. Eventually, though, it was decided to build a community center instead. The church was picked up off its foundation and physically moved to the northern lot. Supporters of the church raised $93,000 in seven days for the construction of the Epiphany Community House, which was built on the grounds of the church in 1926.

Attendance at the Church of the Epiphany began to fall in the 1940's, as the neighborhood around it changed. The Episcopal faith, viewed as a "white" church, struggled to gain acceptance with the black residents moving into the neighborhood. Seeking to bridge the cultural divide, Epiphany linked up with another nearby parish, Church of the Messiah on Grand Boulevard East in 1970. The two churches merged in 1973, with Messiah absorbing the congregation. The last Episcopalian service was at Epiphany on November 11th, 1973. The church property was put up for sale two years later.

The Epiphany Community House became a mixed use building, with storefronts on the first floor, a law office on the second, and a gymnasium on the third. The church was taken over by Immanuel the Glorious Church of the Apostolic, but when and for how long is unknown. Word of Life Family Church moved into the sanctuary in 1994, where it held service until it closed in 2010. It may have changed names to Church in the Light, but there aren't any corporate records that match up.

When the church closed the building was over 100 years old, and was in bad shape. After several years of vacancy, the church was repaired and reopened.