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Arts & Culture

Historic Churches In Seattle

March 31, 2014 6:00 AM

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St. James Cathedral in Seattle (photo courtesy: St. James Cathedral)

St. James Cathedral in Seattle (photo courtesy: St. James Cathedral)

Many of Seattle’s historic churches feature beautiful woodwork, stained glass windows and ornate decorations. Some buildings have seen multiple congregations walk through their doors, having withstood all types of weather and abuse. However, the best way to see these churches is from the inside. Here are five of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Seattle.

Mars Hill Church – Downtown
811 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 816-3626
www.marshill.com

While the title of oldest church in Seattle belongs to First Church: First United Methodist Church of Seattle, it no longer dwells in the oldest church facility. Its former location, built in the late 1800s, now houses Mars Hill Church. While the building is old, the congregation is quite young. Despite the building’s old age, it still looks magnificent inside and out. Current services are held Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

St. James Cathedral in Seattle (photo courtesy: St. James Cathedral)

St. James Cathedral in Seattle (photo courtesy: St. James Cathedral)

St. James Cathedral
804 9th Ave.
Seattle, WA  98104
(206) 622-3559
www.stjames-cathedral.org

Built in 1907, the St. James Cathedral has gone through much over the years. A few of examples include a snowstorm in 1916 which took out the church’s “great dome,” an arson in 1992 which led to major renovations, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts and eight pastors. Today the church offers masses on Sundays, Saturdays and weekdays.

Trinity Parish Church
609 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98104
(206) 624-5337
www.trinityseattle.org

Trinity Parish is the oldest Episcopal Church in the greater Seattle area. The original church was built in 1871, but was destroyed during the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. It was rebuilt but burned down again in 1902. Since that time, the newly placed marble high altar and stained glass windows are still part of the church’s history. Established long ago, the church describes itself as a “contemporary community rooted in ancient practices.” Currently, the Sunday Holy Eucharist is scheduled for 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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Immaculate Conception Church
820 18th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 322-9417
www.immaculateconceptionseattle.org

The Immaculate Conception Church is home to Seattle’s oldest standing Catholic Church. Though founded in 1891, its current building wasn’t built until 1904. Among its features include hand-painted frescoes by Jesuit priests, stained glass windows and a grotto that is a smaller, but exact replica of the Grotto to our Blessed Mother in Lourdes from France. It also has a dome that sits 150 feet off the ground. Current mass services are held on Sundays at 10 a.m.

First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 324-3664
www.fameseattle.org

The honor of being the oldest church in Seattle founded by African Americans belongs to the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, or FAME. Established as a small Sunday School in 1886 by Seaborn J. Collins, this “place of possibilities” now supports over 1,000 multi-ethnic members. FAME stresses that while it was organized by people of African descent and heritage, it was not founded in Africa and by no means is for African Americans only. Worship services are held at Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

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Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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