History of Our Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul serves as a second church home for every member of the diocese. The Cathedral is one of the diocesan venues that opens its doors to programs, events, and services to which the entire diocese is invited. In recent tradition, the bishop has celebrated the Great Vigil of Easter and the Christmas Eve Festal Eucharist at the Cathedral. The bishop has also celebrated a Chrism Mass every year during Holy Week, and in 2018 it was concelebrated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s bishop in our region. Diocesan ordinations also take place at the Cathedral and it has welcomed the presiding bishop.

The Cathedral shares facilities with the Diocesan Center, with offices shared between the cathedral staff and the diocesan staff. The cathedral chapter staff oversees every part of the campus except the church itself. Barth Hall, the cathedral parish hall, is used by members of the diocese for private events, and can also be rented by the wider community for area-wide events. At present, Matrix Head Start uses the lower level of the diocesan center for its preschool.

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul is also a parish with a rich and challenging diversity of people and a longtime commitment to social justice. The Cathedral draws its members from Detroit and its suburbs, and its congregation represents many languages, peoples, and nations.  

D-lectricity 2017

The Cathedral and the Diocesan Center are located in Detroit’s Midtown, which provides opportunities for community engagement in both cultural activities and outreach. Its neighbors include Wayne State University and cultural institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Cathedral participates in such community events as Noel Night, an evening of music and entertainment in early December; D-Lectricity, an art festival of light and sound; and as a member of the Detroit Historical Church Association, it opens its building to both formal and informal tours.

The dean, clergy, staff and vestry work diligently to uphold the Cathedral Mission Statement: “The Cathedral vision is to be an extraordinary spiritual gathering place where people of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to question, learn, pray, worship and serve; being loved by God in ways that change, improve their lives and the lives of others.”