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Thomas Mc Clure Peters found appropriate land for a cemetery in Newtown, Long Island, now Astoria, Queens, accessible from Manhattan by means of the Astoria Ferry.Funding for the purchase of the cemetery land came from Peters himself and from more than fifty African-descended families of Seneca Village. Michael’s Cemetery was to provide a beautiful and affordable burial place for parishioners of St.James alternated mission work in the United States with extensive travels in England, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Holy Land for what he described as theological and ecclesiological trips.In the 1840s, James established four new churches in Rhode Island and distinguished himself for his “out-of-doors” preaching.As the neighborhood once again became commercially and residentially desirable, St. Parish numbers increased as they had not in at least fifty years. As the centennial of the third church building approached, the vestry and parish made plans to restore the church building, celebrating both the building itself and the remarkable renascence of the parish. Michael’s Church received an award from both the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the restoration of “its intended use as a serene and spiritual place of worship” and the resumption of its status as “one of the noblest ecclesiastical structures on the Upper West Side.” In 1997, during the fourth year of the leadership of the new rector, the Rev. During the seventeen years of George Brandt’s rectorship and since, St. One of George Brandt’s most lasting contributions to St.Michael’s Church was rediscovered by old and new neighbors alike. Demographically, the parish reflected the diversity of the Upper West Side. Michael’s were individuals and families of Caribbean, Hispanic, African, Indian, Asian, as well as Caucasian descent; gay men and women felt more welcome at St. By the early 1980s, both the clergy and the lay leadership of the church were representative of the makeup of the parish and the neighborhood as a whole. Michael’s and to the church as a whole has been his identification and hiring of gifted seminarians and priests who, on leaving St.
The building is marked at its southeast corner by an elegant bell-tower, visible for more than a mile in all directions.The vestry encouraged parishioners to contribute generously to the interior decoration of the new building.In 1895, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was commissioned to design and install the seven great lancet windows representing St.Michael’s and members of other religious and charitable institutions. Michael’s was strong and continuously growing; the vestry was energetically optimistic.Thomas Mc Clure Peters enthusiastically welcomed the large German immigrant community settling in St. Both Thomas Mc Clure Peters, and his son John Punnett Peters after him, were fluent in German and preached frequently in German on Sundays and throughout the week. Gibson (1854-1927), a highly influential ecclesiastical architect, was hired, and the new church, large enough to seat 1500 people, was dedicated in December, 1891.