St. James Episcopal Church (Sonora)

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St. James Episcopal Church

42 Snell Street

Sonora, California
St. James Episcopal Church in autumn 01.jpg
37°59′15″N 120°23′05″W / 37.98738°N 120.38477°W / 37.98738; -120.38477Coordinates: 37°59′15″N 120°23′05″W / 37.98738°N 120.38477°W / 37.98738; -120.38477
DedicationSt. James
Heritage designationCalifornia Historical Landmark #139
ParishSt. James
DioceseEpiscopal Diocese of San Joaquin
ProvinceEpiscopal Church USA
Bishop(s)The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Rt. Rev. David Rice, Bishop
RectorThe Rev. Verne Walter

St. James Episcopal Church, also known as the Red Church, is an historic Episcopal church building, formerly Anglican, located at 42 Snell Street, in Sonora, California. Built in 1859 in the Carpenter Gothic style, its board and batten exterior walls are of California redwood and are painted red. It was consecrated in 1870 by the Rt. Rev. William Ingraham Kip, first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Reportedly the seventh Episcopal parish as well as the oldest Episcopal church building in California, it has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 139.[1][2]

St. James took place in the Anglican realignment in the United States,[when?] leaving the Episcopal Church and adopting the name of St. James Anglican Church, then a parish of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin and of the Anglican Church in North America. Its previous rector was the Rev. Wolfgang E. Krismanits, who died in a car crash, with his wife, on 27 November 2012.[3]

A schism occurred over various theological issues and a number of the churches in the diocese dissolved their affiliation with The Episcopal Church. They accepted oversight by the Province of the Southern Cone, in South America.[4]

A number of Episcopalians wished to remain with the Church. These faithful, with the assistance of the governing bodies of The Episcopal Church, reorganized the diocese. On March 29, 2008, a Special Convention was held, led by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. The Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb became the first provisional bishop.[5]

After much time, litigation, and negotiation, St. James, popularly known as “The Red Church” returned to the Episcopal Church. The first service as St. James Episcopal Church was held on July 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ California Office of Historic Preservation - California State Historical Landmarks - Tuolumne County
  2. ^ Tapper, Joan, The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of California, with photographs by Nik Wheeler, New York: Thames & Hudson, 2007, pp 88-89. ISBN 978-0-500-51368-2
  3. ^ St. James Anglican Church website
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]

External links[edit]

Media related to St. James Episcopal Church, Sonora, California at Wikimedia Commons