St. Peter's Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving Protestant church building on the Kenai Peninsula. It was also the location of the first public school classroom in the town of Seward, and it housed a library reading room beginning in 1929.

Soon after the town of Seward was established in the summer of 1903, a priest headquartered in Valdez began making periodic trips to Seward to hold services in a tent. The basement, or undercroft, was built during the fall and the first formal religious service was held there on February 19, 1905. The first formal session of the Seward grammar school was held in the undercroft on February 26, 1905. One room of Seward's school was housed in the church undercroft, the other in the Ballaine Building

A feverish period of Seward settlement passed with the disappointing bankruptcy of the Alaska Northern Railway. When construction work on the railroad revived in 1915 there was renewed activity, population, and money in Seward, and with it the need for social and personal amenities such as churches, schools, hospitals, and libraries. During this time, construction on the church resumed. The main chamber and roof with the original belfry were built in 1916. The rectory was built in 1917 between the church and the former Ballaine Building, which had since been converted to the Seward Elementary School.

The church has an interesting painting inside by the Dutch artist, Jan Van Emple. It depicts “The Resurrection” with Seward residents used as models in the background.

Getting There

239 2nd Avenue
Seward, AK
Driving Directions

St. Peter's Church

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