The Old Church
St.Paul’s Church was originally established as a daughter church of St. Mark’s Episcopal Parish in 1869, but became an independent parish in 1870, in which year the first church building, at 608 Turner Avenue, was completed. It was known as the "Memorial Church", with reference to the twelve stained glass windows commissioned in memory of heroes of the Civil War.



The building suffered two major fires, both of which prompted expansions and improvements. The first fire occurred in 1904: it destroyed the kitchen, but opened the way to an enlargement of the Parish Hall and its facilities. The second and more serious fire occurred on February 26, 1941 (ironically, Ash Wednesday!): it destroyed much of the body of the church and necessitated a major rebuilding, with an extended chancel and a new floor.



The Memorial Church was demolished in 1961 (along with six other downtown churches) to make way for the 131 Expressway. A new church was built at 3421 Leonard Street, and consecrated in 1962.



In 1980, most of members of St. Paul’s found themselves unable to accept the doctrinal changes in the Episcopal Church represented by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, and voted to secede from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan and to affiliate with the newly formed Anglican Catholic Church. They fought a long, expensive, and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle with the Episcopal Diocese to retain possession of the site on Leonard 
 Street. Undeterred, they began making plans for a new building. A site on Lake Michigan Drive was acquired, and a new church - the present home of St. Paul’s - was completed in 1988, with a parish hall added in 1995.   

The old St. Paul’s Church on Leonard Street continued to function as a parish of the Episcopal Church until it was finally closed in 2006, when its Diocese and Vestry graciously permitted the people of St. Paul’s Anglican Catholic Church to retrieve some of the fittings from their old home. A six foot stature of St. Paul in Italian travertine, which had stood on the north wall of the old St. Paul’s on Leonard Street, was removed to the sanctuary of the new St. Paul’s on Lake Michigan Drive.


Throughout its history, St. Paul’s Anglican Catholic Church has been a prominent parish of the Anglican Catholic Church and of its local Diocese of the Midwest. Among its rectors was Bishop William Lewis, late Archbishop of the Original Province of the ACC.