St. James History
Grover Cleveland was United States President and Hazen S. Pingree was mayor of Detroit when a group of interested people met in 1894 and drew up articles of agreement for a church to be called St. James Mission in Birmingham. By the following year in 1895, a ground breaking and dedication of a new building, the Stone Church, took place with The Reverend Charles A. Cary serving as the first rector of St. James.
Through the 1890’s and early 1900’s and weathering changes in status, St. James became an independent parish in 1911. The location at the corner of West Maple and Chester has seen many changes to the church building including additions in 1949, a fire in 1953, a new church in 1955, additions in 1958 and interior renovations commemorating our 100th anniversary in 1995; a century of commitment to a life of Christian faith, caring and fellowship.
Enhancing our presence in the Birmingham community, a carillon was installed in 1965. The bells are part of the life of our St. James parish and are heard and enjoyed by downtown workers, residents and visitors.
With an interest in the greater community, the Community House of Birmingham, a gathering place for a variety of civic and educational activities, was started in 1923 by St. James. Mission churches, St. Anne’s of Walled Lake and St. David’s of Southfield, were sponsored by St. James. In addition, our parish also initiated the planning and building of St. Anne’s Mead retirement home in Southfield.
On Sunday, July 1, 2012, the St. James family joyously welcomed our new rector, The Reverend Kenneth L. Erickson. His spiritual leadership offers new opportunities to grow our living faith. Ken remarks, “It has been evident through my many interactions both with the search committee and the wardens that St. James is a parish community alive in the Spirit. I look forward to journeying together with you into God’s future, and to discovering together what we will become.
We look forward to welcoming a new rector and embracing future changes and challenges that will grow our living faith.