Center City East in Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Today, Christ Church is often called "The Nation's Church," and its history is closely tied to that of colonial Philadelphia and the birth of America. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross all worshipped here, along with 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence and other patriots, though many Loyalists were counted among its members as well.
Founded on this site in 1695, Christ Church quickly grew into one of the largest congregations in Philadelphia. By 1726, the 800 parishioners needed a larger house of worship. Construction on the present building began in 1727, to plans drawn by Dr. John Kearsley, who also helped design the State House (Independence Hall). When it was completed in 1744, this magnificent Georgian structure stood as one of the largest buildings in north America. The steeple and bells were added in 1754, financed,
Christ Church plays an important role in the religious history of America. It was here, in 1789, that the American Episcopal Church was created, still tied to, but independent from the mother Church of England. The Protestant episcopal Church in the United States chose as its second bishop the reverend William White, who had been Christ Church rector since 1779 and had served as a chaplain to the Continental Congress in Yorktown.
In 1804, Christ Church was also the site of the ordination of Absalom Jones, the Episcopal Church's first African-American priest.
Today, Christ Church remains active in the life of the city and the nation, not only as a well loved landmark and historic site, but as a leader in reaching out to the poor and addressing contemporary problems ranging from housing to violence. The congregation of Christ Church continues a 300-year-old tradition of celebrating the Creator who has endowed us with those inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Erected by Old Philadelphia Congregations.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Colonial Era. In addition, it is included in National Historic Landmarks, and the Signers of the Declaration of Independence series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1695.
Location. 39° 57.04′ N, 75° 8.619′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. It is in Center City East. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street and Church Street, on the right when traveling south on 2nd Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Resting Place of Seven Signers of the Declaration of Independence (a few steps from this marker); James Wilson (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Christ Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Christ Church (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original Eight Bells in this Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Pierce Butler (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Broom (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Christ Church & Burial Ground markers.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,415 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 19, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on August 2, 2017, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 19, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.