A History of the Cathedral of St. Philip
Before we were designated the cathedral parish of Atlanta, St. Philip's Episcopal Church was established in 1846, with five communicants. Our first building was across from the new State capitol, on what is now the corner of Washington Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. By 1875, we were the largest Episcopal parish in Georgia; and in 1904, we became the Cathedral of the Diocese of Georgia (all of the state was one diocese at that time). We were in our third building.
By the 1930s, the streets of Atlanta had been built up higher than the entrance to St. Philip's, and much of the parish had moved away. In 1933, under the leadership of the courageous Dean Raimundo De Ovies, St. Philip's Cathedral moved to its present location; the "little gray church" was built atop the hill at Andrews Drive and Peachtree, with its doors opening to the city.
The present Mikell Chapel was finished in 1947. De Ovies Memorial Hall, planned to house offices for both the Cathedral and the Diocese, was completed in 1951. The parish hall was completed in 1955. The grand Cathedral proper (replacing the little gray church) was dedicated and first used in 1962, and it was consecrated in 1980 (when debt was retired).
Now over 150 years old, the Cathedral of St. Philip seeks to continue its history of service to the city and diocese of Atlanta. We hope that our beacon on the hill can deliver the light of Jesus Christ to the world.
In 2004, the Cathedral of St. Philip celebrated the completion of our "Let Your Light Shine" campaign, during which we constructed a new Atrium and Education wing, and renovated almost every non-liturgical space in our facility. This fresh construction bears witness to the fresh spirit that blows in this community.
We seek to be a Christian community of faith willing and able to let the light of Jesus shine not just in ourselves but in the world around us!