Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

Christ the King Episcopal Church, Huntington

Episcopalians first organized a church in Huntington under the leadership of Bishop David Buel Knickerbacker on 19 May 1884. The Rev. William Naylor Webbe, rector of Trinity Fort Wayne, conducted the first known Episcopal service. Calling the mission Christ Church, its lay leaders included T. A. Carhart, warden; David Moriarty and George Moses, vestrymen; C. R. McCullough, secretary and treasurer; and Mrs. Carhart, assistant treasurer. In spite of a promising beginning, the mission struggled to continue with a dwindling membership. The Rev. William Burk and the Rev. Otway Colvin, both of Trinity Church, Peru, conducted occasional services. The surviving parish register of this first congregation contains records from 1884 to 1898 with some gaps. In 1900, Archdeacon Torrence reported to the diocese that Huntington has "a neat little church," but no services had been held for more than a year and for a time the building was rented to Quakers. By 1902, after regaining control of the building, various supply clergy held services on alternate Sundays, and the diocesan building commission held a mortgage of $283. The following year the archdeacon reported a leaking roof. It was repaired, but the mortgage remained unpaid until 1904. From 1913 to 1918, James A. Baynton, the archdeacon, held services, but they would cease after Baynton left the diocese.

In the 1920s, the mission of Christ Church was reconstituted under the rector of Trinity Church, Peru, as well as the diocesan archdeacon, the Ven. Joseph Gubbins. The Rev. George Jewell, a missionary at Hartford City and Kokomo, held services, but they were discontinued with the onset of the Great Depression. From 1938 to 1939, the Rev. Raymond M. O'Brien held services, followed by the Rev. Clarence Reimer and the Rev. Philip Shutt, but the mission closed in 1943. These services were conducted in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers building on Market Street.

On September 11, 1949, several Episcopal families formally petitioned Bishop Reginald Mallet to establish a new mission church in Huntington. The Rev. David Reid of Marion arrived and held services in Engineer's Hall. The response was strong enough for Reid to continue weekly services, and eleven people were confirmed on November 6, 1950.  After receiving approval for diocesan mission status, the congregation purchased a house for $8,000 at 904 Jefferson Street and converted the downstairs into a chapel with another house at 916 Jefferson Street becoming a vicarage. During the tenure of the Rev. John T. Russell from 1952 to 1954, the congregation officially adopted its new name, Christ the King. Upon his death in 1984, Russell left the church five thousand dollars in his will, which was applied toward purchasing its present organ.

On July 18, 1958, the congregation purchased the Ayres home, a large Victorian house at 1224 North Jefferson Street, and converted it into a chapel. The first service in the new location was celebrated on September  7, 1958. The present crucifix, now located at the baptistery, was then located at the altar. 

In 1967, Bishop Walter Conrad Klein requested that a new church edifice be erected that more befitted a church. Choosing to remain at 1224 North Jefferson Street, the congregation demolished the Ayres house and built the present A-frame structure. Ground was broken on November 25, 1968, and the cornerstone laid on August 9, 1969, with the Rev. Ian Schlotterbeck as vicar. In the cornerstone the congregation placed a copper box containing a cross, a Holy Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, a record of the Founders, and the original church petition, which listed the 24 original church members of 1949. The new facility was dedicated on December 7, 1969. In March of 1970, the present Christus Rex was hung on the east wall for Easter. It was hand-carved by wood carvers in Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, as a gift from the Morrett family.

In the summer of 1989, a new entrance and baptistery were constructed as a first phase of an expansion plan. As the congregation continued to grow in number and in faith, Christ the King became a parish of the diocese in 1994. Construction of the parish hall with five classrooms took place in the spring of 2001.

Those serving as priests in charge and vicars since 1948 include: David A. Reid, Hugh N. Barnes, John T. Russell, Horace L. Varian, Carl R. Bloom, John R. Patston, Rodney W. Jarchow, Ian Schlotterbeck, Peter D'Alesandre, Arnold Hoffman, John Miles, Jack Bliven, Curtis E. Ross and Margaret Harker. The Rev. M. Richard Miller later served as Priest in Charge. Presently the church is served by the Rev. Ted Neidlinger, who was installed Priest in Charge in 2014.


William Naylor Webbe, 1884-1885
William Black Burk, 1885-1886
George Davis Adams, 1888
Otway Colvin, 1890-1894
Willis Darwin Engle, 1897-1898
James Augustus Baynton, 1913-1918
Joseph William Gubbins, 1928-1930
George Arthur Peters Jewell, 1930
Raymond Mansfield O'Brien, 1938-1939
Clarence Charles Reimer, 1941-1942
Philip L Shutt, 1942-1943
David Reid, 1949-1951
Hugh N. Barnes, 1951-1952
John T. Russell, 1952-1954
Horace Lytton Varian, 1954-1956
Carl R. Bloom, 1956-1960
John Ralph Patston, 1960-1965
Rodney W. Jarchow, 1966-1968
Ian J. Schlotterbeck, 1968-1975
Peter D'Alesandre, 1975-1980
Arnold Hoffman, 1980-1981
John Miles, 1982-1983
Jack Bliven, 1984-1985
Curtis E. Ross, 1987-1993
Margaret Harker, 1993-2004
M. Richard Miller, 2005-2014
Theodore Neidlinger, 2014-

Adapted from Christ the King's website: http://episcopalchurch-huntington.org/

Christ Church Parish Register, Huntington, 1884-1898

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