If you are looking for an Orthodox church in Alaska, you’ve come to the right place. Anchorage, Alaska, is home to the Diocese of Alaska, which includes parishes, missions, and monasteries. Founded when Alaska was still part of Russia, the Diocese is one of the oldest in the United States. But, what is it all about? Read on to learn more about the Church in Alaska.
Holy Assumption Church
The Holy Assumption Church, also known as the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a Russian Orthodox parish in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska. Founded in 1794, the parish is the only Russian Orthodox church in the state. In addition to worshipping at the church, visitors to the area are also invited to attend services at the adjacent Cathedral of Holy Assumption.
The Russian-style structure of the Holy Assumption Church, constructed in 1894-96, is one of the most significant structures in south central Alaska. It has been the principal representative of Russian culture in the area, and is an important link to western culture for the Kenaitze Indians. It is an excellent example of the Pskov style of architecture, and the Secretary of Interior has declared it a National Historic Landmark.
The exterior and interior of the Holy Assumption Church, built in 1894, are characterized by dramatic forms. The design of the church is reminiscent of that of the Holy Ascension Cathedral in Unalaska, which was constructed at the same time. The church has a belltower that reaches eighty feet. The church is located on an east-west axis. The church is made of white clapboard siding and has brown trim around windows and exterior corners. At the eaves, saw-tooth wooden molding painted blue.
St. Nicholas Church
A historic fire in June 1944 nearly destroyed the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. While the building is not yet restored to its former glory, renovations were undertaken in the 1950s. In addition to expanding the altar area, the church has also reoriented its worship towards the east. Its new mission is to restore the old church and its rectory building. It is expected to reopen in the spring of 2015.
In 1894, the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Alaska, St. Nicholas, visited Juneau and met Tlingit leaders who were interested in conversion. By oral tradition, they shared a recurring dream of a short, white-bearded elderly man encouraging them to become Christians. Upon meeting them, the Tlingit leaders gave the bishop land and lumber for the new church. A new church was christened in 1894, and St. Nicholas has continued to serve the community ever since.
The first St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Juneau was established in 1893. The parish was founded by Galician immigrants from Russia and became a part of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1908. Later, the church was merged into the newly established Orthodox Church of America in 1970. This church is responsible for spreading the Gospel throughout the U.S., as it is the oldest structure in the city. However, the St. Nicholas Church has undergone numerous restorations over the years.
Located in Kenai, Alaska, the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in the state. It was built in 1894 and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. While the building has an interesting history, the exterior has deteriorated and the foundation no longer provides a strong structural connection to the building. Despite its age, the church is still active and holds regular services.
The early history of Holy Assumption Orthodox Church begins in the late 1790s when the parish priest acquired smallpox vaccine from a Russian priest. The parish priests also opened the first school in the town. The church’s architectural details include uncovered exterior log walls in a traditional Russian ship design and blue, green, and gold features. Inside, the church features onion-shaped domes and is one of the oldest Russian Orthodox churches in the state.
The structure of the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Anchorage was restored by Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska. The church’s interior was refurbished with help from a SAT grant from the Alaska Tourism Board. The church also hosts Sunday School and the monthly calendar. It is located in Old Town Kenai. A visit to Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Alaska will give you a new appreciation of the Russian faith.