Diocese: Diocese of Alaska
Deanery: Sitka / Southeast Deanery
326 5th St
Juneau, Alaska 99801
PO Box 20130
Juneau, AK 99802-0130
The Church is located at 5th and Gold Streets in downtown Juneau.
Schedule of Services
6:00 PM Great Vespers.
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Please call 907-500-4160 for schedule of services, or to arrange for other services.
Although this unique, octagonal building was constructed with funds donated from Russia, and the six large panels in the front were painted in Russia, there were never any Russians in Juneau, and this has been a Native Alaskan, mostly Tlingit Indian parish since its founding in 1893.
It was the Tlingit leaders in the Juneau area who took the initiative, inviting the Orthodox bishop to visit them, instruct, and baptize them about one hundred years ago. After the founding of Juneau as a gold rush town, American missionaries introduced Protestant Christianity in the region, but, following the government policies of that times, refused to allow the use of Tlingit language in the services or schools. Since the Tlingit were still the great majority of the population in the territory, they saw no reason to adopt the new, “foreign” language and customs of the newcomers, and asked to be received into the Eastern Orthodox Church, knowing that this religion had been used in the Tlingit language for fifty or more years at Sitka. The icon screen and other icons in the church tell the story.
St Nicholas Church was completed in 1894 and was named for St Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, a city in what is now western Turkey. While considering being baptized, several Tlingit leaders had a dream in which a short, bald, white-bearded man appeared to them and told them to go to Sitka and be instructed. When they met the Orthodox bishop there, they also saw in the church an icon of St Nicholas, a fourth century bishop, whom they all recognized as the man in their dream. They named their new church for him, and his icon is on the far right of the icon screen.
Our parish today consists of about 50 Orthodox families in the Juneau area and more in the villages surrounding Juneau. In recent years the parish has begun to grow and in 1997 had Church School and Youth Group for the first time in over thirty years. Under the spiritual guidance of our clergy, council, lay leadership, the faithful of St Nicholas’ community look forward to another 100 years serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.