St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Selma, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 24.536 W 087° 01.312
16S E 497943 N 3585764
Quick Description: This two-sided marker in front of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama, tells the history of this building and of some of the individuals who were associated with the parish over the years.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 4:47:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMGMC3
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 5

Long Description:
St. Paul's Episcopal Church traces its history back to 1838, with their original church building completed and consecrated in 1843. The current church replaced the original one that was burned in the Civil War. The marker can be found in front of the church, which is located on Lauderdale Street near the intersection with Selma Avenue. There is no indication on the plaque as to when it was placed or dedicated.

The history of the church and some of those associated with it can be seen in the text:

St. Paul's Episcopal Church Est. 1838

The original church, built one block south of the present site, was consecrated in 1843 by Bishop Leonidas Polk. In 1861, the second Bishop of Alabama, the Rt. Rev. Richard H. Wilmer, was elected there. During the Battle of Selma, St. Paul’s rector, the Rev. James Ticknor, was wounded and the senior warden, Robert Philpot, was killed. Union troops under Gen. James H. Wilson burned the original church April 2, 1865.

The cornerstone for the present building was laid in 1871. William M. Weaver donated the property for the building designed by the renowned New York firm of R.& R.M. Upjohn in the English Gothic Revival style. The first service was held Easter Sunday 1875. Many of the South’s post war leaders were members of this parish including Lt. Gen. Joseph E Johnston, Lt. Gen Joseph Hardee, Maj. Gen. John H. Forney, Capt Catesby ap R. Jones, and Capt. Joseph Forney Johnston, who later served Alabama as Governor and U.S. Senator.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

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In 1890 Bishop Henry M. Jackson was elected and consecrated here. In 1893 former vestryman John G. Murray was ordained deacon and in the following year priest in St. Paul’s. Bishop Murray was the first elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

In 1900 St. Paul’s own rector, the Rev. Robert W. Barnwell, was elected Bishop of Alabama. He was consecrated in St. Paul’s and established Selma as his Episcopal Residence until his death. In 1924 the Cloister and Parish Hall were built with bricks from Old Cahawba. Selma artist Clara Weaver Parrish designed the focal point of the Parish Hall, the Wedding Feast of Cana. This stained glass window was executed by Tiffany and Company of New York.

One hundred years after the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement once more placed Selma in the national spotlight. Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian from New Hampshire brought discord to St. Paul’s by bringing blacks to worship services forcing the Parish to evaluate its attendance policies. His activism led to his martyrdom in Hayneville later in 1965. He was commemorated by the Episcopal Church in 1991 and his statue now adorns Canterbury Cathedral.
Marker Name: St. Paul's Episcopal Church Est. 1838

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
Bishop Leonidas Polk, who consecrated the original building, was a Lt. General in the Confederate Army when he died in Georgia. He served as a line officer, not as a chaplain.


Date Dedicated / Placed: Not listed

Marker Number: None

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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