The Church of the Holy Faith
311 E. Palace Ave
The Church of the Holy Faith is the oldest Episcopal Church in New Mexico and has been central to the artistic and political history of Santa Fe and New Mexico. It was established as a "house church" with lay readers frequently conducting services because there was no priest. Early worshipers were often young Anglo soldiers and officers garrisoned in Santa Fe during the American Civil War. House church meeting places in those days included the Padre Gallegos House which is on the HSFF Register, the Lord Templar’s Hall on the Plaza, and the governor's reception room in the Palace of the Governors.
Early members and leaders of the church included Senators Thomas B. Catron and Bronson M. Cutting, and Governor L. Bradford Prince. Among other donors were several prominent merchants in the Jewish community and their generosity is memorialized by the crescent-shaped stained glass window over the entrance to the church with a Star of David.
Over the years, the following were active members of the church: the James and Arthur Seligman families (both wives were Episcopalians), Henry and Anna Kaune, John Gaw and Faith Meem (whose ashes were placed in a niche in the chancel which he designed-- a bronze plaque marks the location), the Rev. Charles James Kinsolving, III (who became the bishop of New Mexico and Southwest Texas), and Gustave Baumann who carved the reredos, among others.
The Church of the Holy Faith is located at 311 East Palace Avenue on land purchased in 1879 for $250. The cornerstone of the Church of Holy Faith was laid in 1881 and the structure completed in 1882. The cornerstone for the John Gaw Meem-designed parish house was laid in 1925 and the hall was completed in 1926. In 1953, John Gaw Meem led the most notable renovation to Holy Faith Church. The existing church became the nave and the Meem-designed chancel and sanctuary were added to the north of the existing building.
The Church of the Holy Faith resembles the architecture of many English churches dating from the simplified style of the 13th century ("folk gothic"). It represented architectural trends popular in the eastern and midwestern sections of the United States as well as in European countries. The Church is one of the first dressed-stone buildings in Santa Fe. The stone was quarried outside the village of Galisteo.
"The Church of the Holy Faith is proud to be a part of Santa Fe’s rich cultural and architectural history and is grateful for the decision of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation to add the Church to its Register of Buildings Worthy of Preservation." --The Reverend Canon Kenneth J.G. Semon