St. Peter’s began with five families in 1876, and for the first 17 years, services were held in private homes and public offices.
ST. PETER’S HISTORY
In 1890, the bishop elevated St. Peter’s to a parish, which means it was a healthy, self sufficient congregation. In 1893, on land donated by Dr. G. A. Foote, the first Church building was completed at its current location, the corner of College and Lamar streets.
In 1910, the original frame Church was constructed, the altar guild was organized, and the Fruitcake business was started.
The original wood frame building was replaced in 1926 with a gothic style brick structure. The new Church was construced and the original dedication was had.
A fire destroyed the Rectory in November 1959. In April the following year, the entire church was demolished by fire. As the clean-up effort from the 1960 fire ensued, a remarkable discovery was made. The brass Tabernacle was found under the remains of the Altar, its door sealed from the intense heat, and when opened, the Sacrament was found untouched. This tabernacle is still in use and stands as the only physical connection between the current building and the original building.
The large portion of the construction costs for the new sanctuary was raised by the fruitcake ministry. Church members made thousands of fruitcakes and sold them around the world. In 1964 alone, St. Peter’s baked, packaged and sold more than 6,000 fruitcakes.
The parishioners of St. Peter’s have proven that they can positively respond to challenges and adversity. When St. Mark’s House was destroyed by fire in 1970, Janet Siebens, for whom the current parish hall is named, is famous for saying, “St. Peter’s is used to this. We will just have to make more fruitcakes.”
In 1990, the modern Church was renovated, the narthex was added, and the Church was consecrated. The church was turned around, and the beautiful, iconic window was revealed behind what had been the choir loft and organ.
For the 140th anniversary, St. Peter’s put on the party of the century and gathered up historical documents, pictures, and artifacts from our past. In the same year, we began the conversation about a capital campaign to replace our pipe organ, renovate our campus, and prepare for our future.