An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Church Missions House

In Oct., 1836, a joint committee was formed to confer on securing a building for the work of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. In 1888 the Rev. William Langford, general secretary of the Missionary Society, argued that the church needed a headquarters so that its missionary activities could be centrally administered. A site was secured in New York City in June, 1889, and the plans were approved by the Board of Missions in Oct. 1889. On Oct. 3, 1892, the cornerstone of the building was laid, and on Jan. 1, 1894, the Missionary Society moved into its new headquarters at 281 Fourth Avenue. The land and building cost $450,000. The Woman's Auxiliary was housed there, and space was rented to the American Church Missionary Society, the American Church Building Fund, the Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews, the Church Temperance Society, the Church Periodical Club, and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. It was called the Church Missions House. It was also known as both the “Church Center” and “281” for its address. Later the Church Center moved to 815 Second Avenue in New York City.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.