One of the oldest and notably historical buildings in Idaho, Christ Chapel currently stands on Broadway and University Drive and is the oldest Protestant church in all of Idaho, Montana, and Utah. It was originally built on Seventh and Bannock streets and erected in 1866.
At the time it cost $1500 in gold which was earned by the women of the congregation through ice cream socials, selling fancy needlework and quilts, and talent shows. The organ and the wood for the church were shipped to Boise from Cape Horn. Reverend St. Michael Fackler held the first services on September 2nd 1866, but he died in October of the same year. The congregation named the church in his honor, St. Michael’s, on August 29th 1867. It moved from its place on seventh and Bannock in 1902 when St. Michaels cathedral was dedicated; it had served as the primary place of Episcopal worship until St. Michael’s Cathedral was built. It was then renamed Christ Chapel and moved to Fifteenth and Ridenbaugh until 1963.
In 1963 the board for the church was formed in order to relocate, restore, and operate the historic church because St. Michael’s indicated they could no longer do so. On May 17th 1964, it was rededicated and moved to its current location on the Boise State Campus. The church had been the setting of many early religious events that took place in Idaho’s history. Christ Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Today, the church is still owned and operated by the Christ Chapel Historical Society. The three original members of this board were William Spofford Jr. (St. Michael’s), Pearl Koontz (Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers), and Eugene Chaffee (Boise State).
Its primary use is weddings and it is popular due to its $50 an hour price and old history. The stained glass windows—gothic style—are all original aside from one robbery that occurred forcing it to be replaced. The window in the back behind the pastor’s chair depicts the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The benches are also all original, and although the organ is not original it was made to be representative of the time period. The bell atop the church is still in working condition, weighs 439 pounds and can still be heard for miles.
For scheduling information, please call BSU at 426-2618.