When you walk into St. Mark's, you walk into history. The congregation traces its roots back to 1836 when it was incorporated as an Episcopalian parish. Grand Rapids was not even a city at the time. Our first church was constructed in 1840 but was soon too small to accommodate the growing parish.
The current building was finished in 1848, making it the oldest public building in Grand Rapids. It was expanded in 1872 and beyond to create the cruciform shape you see today.
The exterior of St. Mark's is stone quarried from the Grand River and its walls, two feet thick, are filled with river material as well.
The interior of St. Mark's is Gothic Revival and designed to echo old Trinity Church in New York City. From its soaring ceilings to its hand-painted, stained glass windows, St. Mark's emulates cathedrals dating back to the early Renaissance. It hosts a plethora of architectural details that, in themselves, reflect the history of Grand Rapids and its artisans.
St. Mark's is proud of its rich legacy of involvement in the community. Numerous mayors and civic leaders called St. Mark's home and President Gerald Ford grew up in our church. Both Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals - now known as Spectrum Health - were outgrowths of our church. And the first college in the region was developed by our parish. Today, St. Mark's continues its stewardship; it is actively involved in numerous organizations devoted to making a positive difference in our community.
Rev. Dr. Francis H. Cuming, 1850