Explore Arizona’s Oldest Church

Explore Arizona's Oldest Church

With its historic cathedrals acting as windows into the past, Arizona possesses a rich and varied heritage. The state’s religious and cultural fabric is reflected in these hallowed buildings, some of which date back to the Spanish colonial era. Discover the significance, history, and architecture of Arizona’s oldest church in this blog post.

Which Church Is the Oldest?

It can be difficult to determine which Arizona church is the oldest because the standards differ. It could entail taking into account enduring architectural features, shared traditions, or both. Possible candidates consist of:

  1. Currently a part of the Tumacácori National Monument, Mission San José de Tumacácori was founded in 1691 and is one of the oldest surviving missions in Arizona.
  2. Founded in 1692, Mission San Xavier del Bac is renowned as the White Dove of the Desert and is incredibly beautiful. There are guided tours that highlight both the façade and the inside of this fascinating building.
  3. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is the oldest Protestant church in Arizona, having been founded in 1882. It provides insight into the state’s more recent past.

Emphasis on the Episcopal Church of St. Paul

We will highlight St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in this blog article, highlighting the fact that it is the oldest church in Arizona that is still functioning according to its original intent.

Where is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church located?

The church is located at the intersection of Third and Safford streets in the historic town of Tombstone, Arizona, which gained notoriety for the O.K. Corral shooting. Visitors can tour the building’s history and take part in Sunday services at 10 a.m., which are led by revolving clergy from many denominations. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Endicott Peabody founded the

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was built in 1882 as a result of the vision of Endicott Peabody, a dedicated Bostonian priest. Sent to Tombstone by the Episcopal Church, Peabody aimed to instill morals and decency in the violent and corrupt frontier town.

Peabody raised money from locals, miners, and even more unusual sources like Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, and the Clanton gang. Consecrated on March 11, 1883, the church bears witness to Peabody’s vision and the community’s support, having been completed in less than a year.

Design and Architecture

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a modest building that was constructed using wood and adobe bricks. Its architecture is based on the 19th-century Gothic Revival style. Its pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, and Belgian stained glass windows are reminiscent of medieval Gothic architecture.

Importance and Heritage

A historical site that embodies the mix of cultures and religions in Arizona is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The church has been around for decades, serving worshippers and encouraging a feeling of community despite enduring events like as the O.K. Corral gunfight, the decline of the mining industry, and Arizona’s statehood.

Beyond its doors, the church has left an enduring imprint on Tombstone, Arizona, thanks to Endicott Peabody. Peabody was a visionary and pioneer who opposed injustice and violence by founding a school, hospital, and library in addition to the church.


Explore the history of Arizona with a fascinating trip to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tombstone. As a beacon of bravery and vision, this church is the oldest in Arizona. Come explore its Gothic Revival architecture, discover its fascinating history, and recognize its lasting significance in the state’s cultural fabric.

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