Saint Michael's Cathedral Built 1902

In thanksgiving for more than 150 years of Christian service to the greater Boise community

In 1866, the Rev. Saint Michael Fackler built St. Michael's Church, the first Episcopal Church in the then-territory of Idaho, Utah and Montana. This wooden building, renamed Christ Chapel, is now located on the Boise State University campus.

St. Michael's was an integral part of the spiritual, cultural and musical life of Boise’s early years. Its Women's Auxiliary regularly offered concerts, dances and socials. The money they raised contributed toward the construction of a new Cathedral, which began in September 1899. The English Gothic style Cathedral, built with sandstone from Table Rock, was dedicated by Bishop James Funsten and Rev. Charles Deuel on May 25, 1902.

Six months later, Bishop Funsten opened St. Luke's Hospital with six beds, and the hospital added a school of nursing the following year. For decades, the Women's Auxiliary supported the hospital by making bandages and dressings for surgery, furnishing patient rooms, sewing layettes for the nursery and buying lab equipment. Thousands of dollars were raised annually at the church-sponsored St. Luke's Ball.

The Episcopal Church started St. Margaret's Hall in 1892, offering education for girls. In 1932, St. Margaret's Hall was converted into Boise Junior College by Episcopal Bishop Middleton Barnwell. He spent the summer of 1932 writing curriculum, recruiting faculty and building benches in the science lab. The college eventually became Boise State University.

The contributions of St. Michael's Cathedral to the community have continued in other ways. In 1919, Cathedral organist Eugene Farner started Music Week, the first non-commercial, sponsored music festival in the country. Current Cathedral outreach includes a thrift shop, youth space, education and support for new parents, meals for the homeless and the elderly, and a sack-lunch program.

(Source: Church history written by Eve Chandler) 

Read more about Saint Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral.

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