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St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church serves not only as an active religious facility in the community, but is noted as a major landmark throughout the Kenai Peninsula and is one of the major tourist attractions for Seldovia.

The Church has an illustrious history that began around 1820. It is situated on the hill within the township and looks down upon Seldovia proper with a protective and ostentatious presence.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
PO Box 102
Seldovia Alaska 99663

Sunday - Devine Litergy 10:00 a.m.
Saturday - Vespers 6:00 p.m.
Father Sergie Active
Reader: Lillian Elvsaas

The services are open to anyone who would like to attend. The Congregation respectfully asks that when visiting, that these requests be respected:
•no smoking
•no eating and drinking
•no pets allowed
•no photographs taken inside

TOURS (No tours until late Aug. now)
Tinnette Howard, a member of the church, presents an interesting tour of the church, usually during the summer season. She can be contacted via tinetteh@ptialaska.net Tours are normally conducted at 2:00 p.m. by appointment.

The Church performs marriages, baptisms and funerals as well as providing the community with an opportunity to confess and receive communion. Special times of joyous celebration are Christmas, New Years and Easter.


History of the Church
1820's The original Church was a small log structure located along the beach. The current Church is purported to have been built in 1891and was named St. Nicholas. It was originally part of the Kenai Parish, but now is directly under Alaska's Orthodox Bishop Gregory.
1896 - 1st resident priest, Father John Bortnovsky wrote there were 17 houses and 110 people and that they "raised some chickens and engaged in a little agriculture."
1904 - Children were studying from Russian and English textbooks. (2 books were found in the ceiling area by Architect Sam Combs during the restoration project)
1906 - Bell tower installed on Church. An invoice still exists from a Russian trader evidencing the purchase of the big bells.
1981 -The AK State Legislature funded a grant to the City of Seldovia in the amount of $127,000 to restore the Church. After the restoration, Bishop Grecory reconsecreated the Church.
2000 - A viable entity for its members and a significant personal historical landmark for all Seldovians.

Early 1900's interior
(courtesy Anch Museum Art)

Life in the early history of Seldovia centered around the Church. It served as a community center and an educational facility. In the early 1800's many of the Natives were more highly educated than their European counterparts, thanks to the Russian influence.

Click on this picture
The Gazeteer or Seldovia Church Popup

The Russian Orthodox Cross
(information provided by Tinnette Howard)

Items on the Altar
Russian Orthodox Church: Early History & Art

Copyright © 2000