Historic Red Church of Sonora

St. James Anglican Church, also known as the Red Church, was built in 1860 in Sonora, California during the post-Gold Rush era. Its eight-sided steeple is an example of the Swedish architectural style.

Rev. John Gassman, a Norwegian native, helped design the building and was the first pastor. The red painted board and batten exterior walls are made from California redwood. In 1868 a part of the church had to be rebuilt after a fire destroyed the steeple and the west side of the building.

The church was consecrated in 1870 by the Rt, Rev. William Ingraham Kip, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Reportedly the seventh Episcopal Parish as well as the oldest Episcopal Church Building in California, it has been designated California Historical Landmark #139.

It is one of the most recognized and photographed buildings in the Mother Lode.

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Latitude: 37.986997 Longitude: -120.3852654 Elevation: 1866 ft

Hours Open to Visitation

The church is open to the public every day during business hours. Admission is free.


My prayers and deepest sympathy go out out to the Krismanits family for their loss please keep them all in prayer as well as the so many people that loved Rev. Fr. Wolfgang Krismanits and his lovely wife LaDon. One blessing is that they are now with Lord. What better hands could they be in.

Diana Zelms, 11/27/2012

Is this church available for weddings?

connie riggs , 2/5/2016

Do u guys happen to help out with has for emergency situations?

Kristina, 4/24/2017

I was told that my grandmother, Henrietta Williams Harvey got the ladies in the area together for worship and that was the beginning of the Episcopal Church in Sonora, Ca.

Karen Harvey Dubay, Charleston, SC, 11/14/2018

I am looking for a grief support group.

Elaine 743-8833, 8/6/2019

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