A Brief History
Christ Church, Manlius, has the distinction of having the oldest church building in Onondaga County and being the oldest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. Records indicate that by 1798, people formally gathered in their homes (and later in the Franklin Schoolhouse on what is now the intersection of Routes 92 and 173) to keep the prayers in "the Episcopal manner." In 1804, the parish was incorporated, first as Trinity Church (recognizing the founding support of Trinity, Wall Street, NYC), then as Christ’s Church, and finally as Christ Church.
The present building’s construction began in 1811 and was completed in 1813 on the present site of the Village’s cemetery (east on Route 173). Remarkably, in 1832, the building was rolled on logs to the present site in response to the village’s own development. Early church lore tells us that the move was achieved "with bell hanging and organ ready to play without so much as to remove even a square foot of plaster."
There have been many structural and stylistic changes to the building over the years. Perhaps most dramatic was the placement of the stained glass windows, begun in 1867. At least two of the windows are known to be from the Tiffany Studio in New York City. Taken as a whole, Christ Church’s windows represent a visual history both of the first 150 years of American stained glass and of many of the lives of the area’s founding families.
Today, plans are underway not simply to maintain this historic house of worship and hope but to insure that Christ Church and its ministries will continue to be a resource for faithful, mature living for our membership and for the larger world community.
As Christ Church begins its new ministry with our Rector, we celebrate a rich heritage, mindful of the biblical injunction: "Those to whom much is given, much is required."