The first Free Episcopal Church in Raleigh
Our First Rector & First Church Building
In January of 1874, the Rev. Edward R. Rich was called as rector of the newly-formed church. He conducted the first service in February of 1874, assisted by the Rt. Rev. T. B. Lyman D. D.
By spring, a site at the corner of Hillsborough and McDowell streets was purchased and construction of the church began on Sept. 24, 1874. Services were often held in the Hall of the House of Representatives of the Capitol while the church was being built.
On Easter Day, March 28, 1875, the congregation held its first service in the church's present location. The new parish was admitted to the Diocese at the annual convention held in Wilmington on May 21, 1874.
The Current Church Building is Constructed
In 1896, the Rev. Isaac McKendree Pittenger, D. D., fourth rector of the church, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While there, he chose a block of marble quarried near Jerusalem and shipped it home as the cornerstone for a new and larger church building.
The cornerstone was laid in October 1899, but the building was not completed until 1914. The original church then became the Parish House and was used for that purpose until 1954 when a new Parish House building was completed. While the construction on the existing church structure was completed in 1914, the construction of the stained glass windows took place over the next 60 years.
The altar that depicts the Last Supper and the wainscoting and paving inside the altar rail are made from Italian marble and are typical of churches in Northern Italy. It is said that the work was done in Italy and the masons came from there to install it.
The Next Era Begins
In 2004, a new Parish Life Center was completed.
Designed to complement the 1914 stone church building, the Parish Life Center is located next to the church. The granite used on the exterior comes from the same quarry as the granite used to build the church 100 years ago.
The first floor is home to clergy and staff offices, the choir room, a parlor and a nursery. The second floor contains classrooms and meeting space for our Youth programs. The top floor contains a small chapel, kitchen and Shepherd's Hall - a large meeting area that is used for fellowship programs and recreational activities. Shepherd's Hall can also be rented for meetings and receptions.
The ground floor houses the Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen, which was founded in the early '80s by Good Shepherd parishioners and is now supported by volunteers from Good Shepherd and the greater Raleigh community.
Weekly Service Times
8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
In our Church
In Stoker Chapel
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday
121 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27603