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St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Durant, Iowa)

St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Durant, Iowa)

206 6th St, Durant (IA), 52747, United States

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(563) 785-6228

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Description St. Paul's Episcopal Church is a parish church in the Diocese of Iowa. The church is located in Durant, Iowa, United States. The parish was founded in 1856. The church building and parish hall have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985.HistoryThe Rt. Rev. Henry Washington Lee, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, led the first services in Durant in the Rock Island Railroad depot in 1856. Freight boxes containing champagne were used for the pulpit, altar, and pews. A meeting was held after the service to organize the parish. The name St. Paul was chosen because many of the members had belonged to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in New Haven, Connecticut before moving to Iowa. The church in Connecticut contributed $75 that began the building fund for the church.Thomas C. Durant, the town's founder, donated land for the first church. It was located on the north side of town and was dedicated by Bishop Lee in October 1856. That same year a "seminary" for girls, or junior/senior high school, was established. In the early 1870s the seminary curriculum was expanded to include boys and a library was built. The co-educational boarding and day school was renamed the Boardman School, after its primary benefactor. The school continued into the 1890s when Durant's public high school was established.By 1895 the congregation had outgrown its first building. On May 28 the original church was sold and the present building was purchased from the Congregationalists, who had built it in 1856. The bell, stained glass windows and the furniture from the old church were moved to the new church. The sanctuary was added in 1895 to accommodate Episcopal worship. The parish hall was constructed next to the church by members of the congregation in 1895. It has served as Sunday School building, vicar's office, town library, and town community center.

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