We are the oldest Episcopal Church in Arizona. Our first service was held June 18, 1882. St. Paul’s is also the oldest Protestant church building in Arizona and has conducted services every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for more than 135 years.
The Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. It is the only Gothic Revival adobe church in the world — built of hand-formed, sun-dried 16″ adobe bricks, covered with stucco against the monsoon rains. The massive roof beams were brought by oxcart from the Chiracahua mountains, 20 miles away. The overhead lamps came around Cape Horn on a sailing ship. Over the last ten years, we have restored the original Belgian stained-glass windows, installed a new roof, and beautiful new front doors. As of the start of 2020, the Church is in good shape — along with our grounds, next-door rental house, and the 1928 Rectory. Unique — an 1880s small line shack, preserved in remembrance of Tombstone’s historic and colorful past.
Young Seminarian Peabody raised the money… also from the mine owners and miners, store owners, and gamblers like Wyatt Earp and his friends. Earp left Tombstone before the first June 1882 service, but corresponded with Peabody over the following years. Rev. Peabody went back to Massachusetts after the Church was completed. He started Groton School, teaching many future leaders of America, and also married Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and was friends with Winston Churchill.
Our small congregation is made up of Episcopalians who live both in Tombstone and the surrounding area. We have an energetic new minister, Reverend Heather Rose, who is engaging the community with the same passion as founder Endicott Peabody. In 2017, the Diocese passed the Tombstone Resolution, assuring support for St. Paul’s in the years to come. In 2018, we celebrated our 135th anniversary on this windswept mesa, with best wishes from the Bishop for St. Paul’s to grow and thrive in the years to come.