Our History

St. John’s Episcopal Church was ONE OF the first churchES in Wichita

It is also the first Episcopal Church in Wichita, KS.

  • In late 1869, an English layman, John Price Hilton, arrived in Wichita with an appointment from Bishop Vail to start a church.
  • The first services were held in the Munger house in December of 1869, and by March of 1870 there was a primitive little log church at the confluence of the two rivers.
  • In September of 1870, eighteen persons signed the Articles of Association, choosing the name St. John.
  • A small frame church was built and consecrated in June, 1879.
  • In March, 1887, the Vestry accepted plans for a new church and rectory at the corner of Third and Topeka Streets.
  • The cornerstone was laid and dedicated by Bishop Vail at impressive ceremonies on September 18, 1887.
  • One year later, Wichita’s real estate boom was over, and work on the new church stopped abruptly. The church was finally completed and first used in July of 1893.
  • It was consecrated in 1906.

Throughout the decades, extensive restoration and refurbishing have been achieved; and while the historic building has been preserved, additional property and improvements have been added. St. John’s continues today to play a vital role in the Christian community and in the life of our cherished city. We are a growing parish, dedicated to loving one another in Christ, and serving the world in His Name.

For more interesting stories about our past our parish historian has published three wonderful books:

  • The First Ten Years is a history covering St. John’s Episcopal Church’s history from 1869 to 1879. 
  • The 1880s continues St. John’s history from 1880 through 1889.
  • Pelicans & Pineapples: Architecture and Symbolism of St. John’s Episcopal Church describes the many interesting physical attributes of St. John’s Church.

For more information, or to purchase one these books, please contact the parish office at 262-0897.