Editor’s note: This article is one of a series of articles provided by the Champaign County Preservation Alliance and leading up to the annual Historic Home & Garden Tour. This year’s tour is an opportunity to visit eight homes, a couple museums, a garden, a church, a business and a railroad car. The tour is 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 29 and 30 in Urbana. Pre-sale tickets are available at local banks and retailers, and a complete list is available at www.ccpapreserveohio.org
The Church of the Epiphany, 230 Scioto St., is one of the oldest Episcopal Churches in western Ohio and is the second oldest church building in Champaign County. The congregation was formed in 1845 and immediately set to work to build a sanctuary. The lot on the northwest corner of Scioto and Kenton was purchased for $600 and the original part of the church was constructed for $3,600 in 1849.
An architect by the name of Basset, from Lancaster, Ohio, designed the Gothic Revival Church. It features many of the details associated with the style, including Gothic peaked windows, decorative barge boards and brick vertical buttresses. The original space was a rectangular building extending only as far as the present chancel arch. A high pulpit stood in front of the present chancel arch. The present chancel and altar were added in 1882 as gifts of Mary Nelson in memory of her husband James (their home is on this year’s tour at 419 Scioto).
In that same year the stained glass windows were installed. They are made of a rare Belgian glass that is no longer made. The contemporary “Epiphany Star” window over the front entrance was designed and installed by local artist Carl McCollum in 1987
The congregation is excited to invite the public to see the restored windows in the sanctuary and chancel. In 2016 the congregation had the windows professionally restored by the Franklin Art Glass Studio of Columbus and is happy to reveal them to the public on this tour. The windows were completely disassembled; glass was cleaned and if damaged replaced. The windows were then reconstructed with new leading. After repairing the old wooden frames at the church, the windows were placed back into their original openings. The project was completed by installing high quality storm glass on the outside to preserve the stained glass.
Some of the other features of the church include the present altar cross and candlesticks, which were given to the church on Christmas Day 1889 by Henry Helps in memory of Emma Mayse.
Music has always enriched the life of Epiphany. An organ was installed in 1884 through the generosity of Henry Helps, who led the first choir on Easter 1890. A new Moeller pipe organ was given in 1925 and served until 1998 when the present Allen digital organ was installed.
Info from the Champaign County Preservation Alliance.