St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Reverend James Otey founded the “mother church” of the Tennessee Episcopal Church in 1827. Services were first held at the Masonic Temple until this building was completed in 1834. Originally the building had a second floor—slave galleries over the ground floor seating. The balcony rails for the galleries can be seen today. During the Union Army occupation of Franklin from 1862-65, the church did not have a resident rector or regular services, so the Union Army used this building first as a barracks, then as a field hospital and finally as a stable. Through the years the story has been told that all the pews and wood on the altar were burned for firewood. In 1869, reconstruction began on the church. At that time the roof was lowered and the slave galleries removed. Church members donated eight stained glass windows from the glassmaking studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany to the church from 1902-15. The Tiffany windows are the three over the altar, the trio on the right and two on the left, as you face the altar. The remaining windows are not Tiffany because when the great artisan died in 1938, he took his glassmaking secrets to the grave. Today St. Paul’s has the distinction as the oldest church building in Franklin.