Our History

Our Stories are the
Christ Church Story

Christ Church is not just a place; it is a family of faith. Our history is shaped by the joys and heartaches we have shared as a community. View the inspiring video capturing some of these stories »


Our History

On July 25, 1943, Christ Church Mission, Charlotte, was formally recognized by the Diocese of North Carolina with 98 families in membership. The impetus for its founding had come from the restrictions on travel imposed by the gas rationing of World War II, plus the realization that the Myers Park/Eastover area would soon be able to support a neighborhood church. The mission grew rapidly and was accepted as a parish at the next Diocesan Convention. The land on which the church now stands was acquired, but soaring construction costs and scarcity of many materials made the building of a permanent structure prohibitive. Instead, a Quonset hut was erected, largely through the labor of the congregation, on a portion of the land. It served both as a church and parish house for several years. The Quonset hut was used in various capacities until it was destroyed by fire in 1969.

On December 1, 1951, the cornerstone for the present church and parish hall was laid. Since its completion in 1952, several additions have been made to the parish hall. Additional Sunday School classrooms were built in 1963, and in 1978 All Saints' Hall was added to the existing structure. In 1991, the Jubilee Fund was established in order to assist in the building of additional space for educational classes, clergy and staff offices, and rooms for our choir and youth programs. In 1980, a Gabriel Kney twenty-six-stop organ was installed in the balcony of the Nave. And in 2004, as a result of the One In The Spirit campaign, there were additional renovations of classrooms, office space and All Saints' Hall.

In 1983, Christ Church partnered with Myers Park Baptist to help found Southminster Retirement Community in Charlotte. Christ Church continues to have an active ministry at Southminster.

Over the years, the programs of Christ Church have been enlarged and altered to meet more adequately the needs of an ever growing congregation, which is now the largest in the Diocese. The city of Charlotte has also undergone great change. Christ Church has been challenged to respond creatively to the problems of suburban growth, of inner city decay, of economic inequity, and of a still segregated society. Two areas of ministry were initiated to assist in facing these challenges.

Mission

A new mission located south of Christ Church, now Saint John's Parish, was organized in 1956. In 1965, Operation Partnership, a concerted effort to become more involved with residents of the inner city, was begun. This project later became an ecumenical endeavor in association with other Myers Park churches. In 1988, Christ Church assisted in the development of the mission congregation, Saint Margaret's in Charlotte. In 1990, Christ Church assisted in the development of two mission congregations, Saint Clare's, Mint Hill and Saint Catherine's, Harrisburg. In 1991, the parish began its support of a new mission in the Lake Norman area, Saint Patrick's, Mooresville. In 2000, the parish began support of another new mission, Church of the Beloved, Charlotte.

Outreach and Major Initiatives

Outreach has always been a significant part of life at Christ Church. Under the direction of The Reverend Thom Blair, 25% of the total budget was designated for use outside the parish. Many initiatives were launched over the years:

MATTHEW 25 (1974 - 1976) - Raised $273,042 for anti-hunger and poverty programs, including prison ministry, mission trips to Costa Rica, El Salvador and Haiti, sponsoring a Vietnamese refugee family, and helping to start Crisis Assistance Ministry.

JEREMIAH 29:7 (1980) - Composed of Christ Church, Myers Park Baptist, Moravian Little Church on the Lane, Myers Park United Methodist, St Mark’s Lutheran, Myers Park Presbyterian and Covenant Presbyterian, this alliance helped establish Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Winter Shelter in our city.

ST. FRANCIS FUND (1982 - 1993) - Raised $1 million for 50-plus causes including Christ the King, Habitat for Humanity and Crisis Assistance Ministry.

SEEDS OF HOPE (1993 - 1998) - Raised $2 million for the Hope Triangle in Charlotte, Fund for World Relief and more. Programs inside the Hope Triangle included Christ the King Chapel, Johnston YMCA, Habitat for Humanity and St. Francis Jobs. Funds also helped establish Thompson Child Development Center.

ONE IN THE SPIRIT CAMPAIGN (2003 - 2008) - Raised $10.5 million, including $1.5 million for a partnership with Eastway Middle School, a literacy program through the Johnson YMCA, support for YWCA families in transition, and international mission.

EXPANDING OUR VISION (2007 - 2012) - Outlined specific goals and plans for each of our primary areas of ministry.

MICAH INITIATIVE (2008 - 2012) - Supported outreach with Rama Road Elementary, the Padlock Prevention program at Crisis Assistance Ministry, and mission work that included micro-financing.

LEAP OF FAITH (2012 - 2017) - Allocated $2 million for housing, education, poverty prevention and mission. Funds also supported the establishment of HopeWay. With Leap of Faith dollars helping pay off the mortgage, two houses next to the Church campus were purchased and renovated for four formerly homeless families.

FAITH AND COURAGE INITIATIVE (2018 -  ) - As we celebrated our 75th anniversary, a new set of major priorities was established for our Church. Learn about this initiative here »

Leadership

Christ Church has been blessed with strong, visionary leadership and a committed congregation since its inception. The parish stands ready today to meet the challenges of the coming years with the same dedication, creative planning, and Christian concern with which it was begun.

Our Rectors

1943 - 1948 The Reverend M. George Henry
1949 - 1956 The Reverend Henry H. Rightor Jr.
1957 - 1969 The Reverend Thom W. Blair
1969 - 1972 The Reverend Harcourt Waller Jr.
1973 - 1985 The Reverend Frank H. Vest Jr.
1986 - 1996 The Reverend Henry Nutt Parsley Jr.
1998 - 2004 The Reverend Philip J. Tierney
2006 -          The Reverend Chip Edens