Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amy's Extraordinary Alabama: The Church of St. Michael's and All Angels

By Amy

Driving along Alabama Highway 21 through Calhoun County, you might see one of those historic marker signs on the corner of 18th Street. It almost gets lost amid the intersection with a McDonald's and other fast food joints.

Having grown up in Calhoun County I often noticed the sign pointing to the west to St. Michael's and All Angels Church. I had often heard of its historic place in our county and how beautiful of a church it was.

So many times I passed that historic marker sign on the corner of Hwy 21 and 18th Street. Always saying "I need to go visit and see for myself." Never really slowing down to actually visit. So in March when I traveled back to my home county I made it a point to visit.

Driving west along 18th Street through a part of Anniston that seems almost forgotten I came upon the historic church on a glorious spring day.


The Tyler and Noble families founded Anniston, establishing an iron works industry after the Civil War. When immigrant families began settling in Anniston to work in the mills and other businesses it became apparent that Grace Church, the first Episcopal church in Anniston, could not accomadate all the new families. In 1887 John Ward Noble petitioned the Bishop of Alabama to organize a second parish.

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On St. Michael's Day of that year the parish was formed and architect William Halsey Wood was retained and ground broken and the cornerstone laid in 1888.


In September 1890 the church was consecrated. The church remains as a gift to the people of Anniston.

The tower of the church is reminiscent of chuches in the Noble family's native Cornwall, England. Beautiful stain glass windows grace the walls of the church as well as an amazing pipe organ. The woodwork is graced with wooden carved angels .

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So if you're ever in Anniston and have a few moments turn west on 18th Street and visit the church. It truly is a beautiful church. The church is open daily from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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