An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Episcopal Church Center

The national headquarters for the Episcopal Church, located in New York City. It includes the executive offices of the Presiding Bishop. It is the place where the fiduciary responsibilities for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society are carried out; a focal point for the work of General Convention; a center for ecumenical and interfaith engagement; and a contact point for international and national agencies. The 1889 General Convention authorized the managers of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to build quarters for the international missionary work of the Board of Missions and its Woman's Auxiliary. In Dec. 1893, the Church Missions House was completed in New York City. In 1919 General Convention “nationalized” great portions of the missionary, educational, and social work of the church under one body. More space was needed by 1926, but serious work was not begun until 1958. On Feb. 21, 1963, Bishop Fred J. Warnecke of Bethlehem, chairman of the committee on housing the business operations of the National Council, handed the master keys of the new twelve-story building to Presiding Bishop Arthur Lichtenberger. The dedication of the church center on Apr. 29, 1963, was the culmination of this work. In 1970 General Convention called for a study on the location of the Church Center. The possibility of relocation of the Church Center continues to be considered from time to time.

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.