by Herculean efforts, reduced the debt to $40,000.
In spite of all obstacles, the building was finally completed and occupied, although the Sunday School, week day services, and other parochial meetings were held for years in the basement of the old church, or at the new rectory. The Press, May 22, 1876, thus described the first service: "The people of Christ Church, took possession of their new edifice yesterday, in the most informal way, although the service inevitably acquired dignity and impressiveness from the vaster surroundings. The choir of boys was led by a quartet consisting of Mrs. Mattoon and Mrs. Fowler, Mr. Safford and Mr. Fisher, and the music was spirited, effective and appropriate." The preceding evening, "The Episcopalians had their last look and service in the old church building . . . . and the large audience, impressive ritual, and sacred associations made the occasion notable." Dr. Burgess preached an historical sermon, paying high tribute to those to whom the Church owed its existence. He said also, that, "the total number of persons baptized into the church has been 952, confirmed 701, married 528, buried 618, added to the communion 1316."
Dr. Burgess was rector of the new church four years. He was there consecrated first Bishop of Quincy, Illinois, May 15, 1878. To this service came Bishop Smith as presiding Bishop. Bishop Huntington preached the sermon and with Bishop Williams assumed the duties of consecrator. Bishop Clark, Bishop Littlejohn and Bishop Paddock were also present. Bishop Smith of Kentucky, the presiding bishop was over eighty-five years old, and leaned on the arm of Bishop Williams. His voice was very weak, and his step very feeble but his mind was clear and vigorous. Bishop Burgess's Episcopal robes were presented to him by the parish. A tent was erected at the side of the church for a robing room, near the entrance of which a lawn sign found its way, clearly marked "NO CROSSING." sign found its way, clearly marked "No crossing."
Rev. Alfred Evan Johnson, wrote September 6, 1922, "I have pleasant recollections of the Consecration of Dr. Burgess as Bishop of Quincy at Christ Church in May, 1878. He was a