St. Paul's Episcopal Church

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fort Benton’s oldest church, is the oldest Episcopal Church in Montana. In continuous service since August 11, 1881, it appears today almost as it did upon opening. Architecturally, this Gothic style building is a fine example of the small community churches being built in Montana at that time. But its story illustrates the difficulties of civilization’s arrival on the raw frontier. After Bishop D. S. Tuttle established a congregation here in 1879, its members held services in the schoolhouse, a saloon, and finally in the courthouse while raising money to build a church. The building fund’s first substantial contribution even came from the East, from the Rev. Joseph Coit, headmaster of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. Thus the church was named St. Paul’s. Here worshipped notable Montana pioneers including W. G. Conrad, C. E. Conrad, Joseph A. Baker, and Paris Gibson. Note the leaded stained glass lancet windows, all placed as memorials and each a work of art.

Images

Map

14th and Chouteau Streets, Fort Benton, Montana ~ Private