Sitka Lutheran Church Records, 1840-2012  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Sitka Lutheran Church (Sitka, Alaska)
Sitka Lutheran Church Records
1840-2012 (inclusive)
1 file, ( )
Collection Number
OPVELCA7a1_18 (collection)
Collection contains the records of Sitka Lutheran Church in Sitka, Alaska
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

Collection is available for research

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Processing funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The oldest Lutheran church in the West was founded when Rev. Uno Cygnaeus arrived in Sitka in May of 1840, having been sent by the Church of Finland to establish the first non-orthodox church in Russian America. Aided in this endeavor by the Governor, who was also a Finnish Lutheran, he and the others soon had a flourishing church with approximately 150 members, most of whom were Finnish craftsmen, clerks and shipwrights. The first pipe organ on the west coast, shipped around the horn in 1846 for Sitka Lutheran Church, is still on display in the present church. In October of 1867 Alaska was formally transferred to the United States. The departure of the Russian Company left Sitka Lutheran with few members. The building was dismantled and the furnishings placed in storage. For 50 years the plot of land “given to the Lutheran Congregation in perpetuity” had no building. Then, in 1940, the ULC came and refounded the Sitka Church, placing an attractive building on the site. During the War the lower level was used as a center for military people, and was later used as a fisherman’s center. The joy of mortgage burning in October of 1965 was short-lived. On January 2, 1966 fire destroyed the church and much of downtown Sitka. The new building was dedicated in 1967 and is now being refurbished, including displays from the 1840 and 1940 churches. The congregation will celebrate 150 years of Lutheranism in Alaska and the West coast in 1990.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This folder includes a bulletin from 2000, an annual report from 1999, various bulletins and pamphlets from the church, various letters, historical pamphlets from the Russian Orthodox Church, booklet about the Lutheran Church in Alaska, Alaska day booklet, pamphlet from the 1981 Sitka Salmon Derby, Sitka Lutheran Church newsletter, various letters, annual report from 1993 and 1995, copies of newspapers from the fire, tourist map of Historic Sitka, flyer from a concert, program from a Sitka Community Chorale concert, pamphlet from the Sheldon Jackson Museum, pamphlet from the Sitka Historic Trail, newspaper from April 17, 1981, map of Sitka, Alaska, program from production by the Sheldon Jackson Players, Sheldon Jackson College newspaper from 1980, other newspaper clippings about “upper room” dedication, article about the Church’s stand on confessionals relative to the Scriptures, brief biography of Rev. Michael L. Meier, bulletin from pastor John S. Lindsay installation, invitation pamphlet from the church, flyer from the upper room dedication, flyer from the Chorale service for the installation of the Rev. Michael L. Meier, booklet: Pacific Historical Review, Sitka Historical Society newsletter from 1994, flyer from a free public concert on the Sitka Lutheran antique Kessler pipe organ by David Dahl (PLU), drawings of the original church building circa 1880, Sitka Lutheran Church flyer announcing their 150th year celebration, list of pastors.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder

Preferred Citation

From the Sitka Lutheran Church, Sitka, Alaska, Records, OPVELCA7a1_18, Archives and Special Collections, ELCA Region I Archives, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Lutherans, Finnish
  • Lutherans--Alaska--History
  • Organ (Musical instrument)
  • Russians--Alaska--Sitka--History
  • Sitka Lutheran Church (Sitka, Alaska)--Fire, 1966
  • Personal Names :
  • Cauble, John, 1940
  • Cygnaeus, Uno, 1839-1845
  • Dahl, David
  • Dowler, Hugh, 1941-1943
  • Gaenslen, Richard A., 1957-1959
  • Hartsook, Dennis, 1971-1973
  • Holmquist, George Lester, 1960-1964
  • Johnson, Dana H., 1943-1944
  • Knebel, Frederick, 1949-1956
  • Lindsay, John S., 1974-1981
  • Meier, Michael L., 1981-?
  • Nygaard, Ernest H., 1944-1949
  • Rudd, Sandra S.
  • Stumpf, Theodore E., 1964-1971
  • Winter, Georg Gustaf, 1853-1865
  • Corporate Names :
  • United Lutheran Church in America
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church--Alaska Synod
  • Sitka Community Chorale (Sitka, Alaska)
  • Sitka Lutheran Church (Sitka, Alaska) (creator)
  • St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral (Sitka, Alaska)
  • Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko
  • Geographical Names :
  • Sitka (Alaska)
  • Occupations :
  • Clergy
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Plathan, Gabriel, 1845-1853 (creator)