History of Christ Church in Short Hills


Christ Church in Short Hills was founded in 1882, situated on the property where the current house of worship still stands, to serve the Episcopal ministries in Short Hills and surrounding neighborhood communities.

The original church was constructed on a half-acre of land on Highland Avenue that was donated by Stewart Hartshorn, a leading industrialist and largest landowner of the community at that time. Local resident, Charles A. Rich, of the architectural firm of Lamb & Rich, designed the structure. The church’s signature gothic architectural style features a grey, stone wall structure with a bell turret rising 34 feet.

The cornerstone was laid on September 18, 1883 and inaugural services took place on Trinity Sunday, June 8, 1884. Consecration of the church was held on November 13, 1884 with Bishop Starkey presiding over the celebration that hosted more than 32 visiting clergy and overflow attendance by an appreciative, spiritually invigorated new congregation.

Christ Church in Short Hills has been enlarged and renovated in both size and style throughout its more than 130 year history. In 1916, Mr. Hartshorn donated additional land surrounding the original structure to accommodate greater functionality within the church. The building is graced with extraordinary hand-painted, stained glass windows that were donated and have been beautifully refurbished over the years. In 1963, the Christ Church Memorial Garden and Chapel were completed as a devotional area for prayer, special remembrances and private meditation.

Click here to read more about the history of Christ Church in Short Hills from 1882 to 1920 from the Millburn Library Archives.