Episcopalians established a mission in this area in 1834 for settlers coming from the Atlantic Seaboard. St. Andrew’s Church was erected in 1853-1854. The design of this small Gothic Revival style church is attributed to Richard Upjohn, the prominent New York architect. The exterior of the church features wooden board and batten with buttresses and a steeply pitched roof. The interior of the church is notable for its beautiful woodwork – symbols and figures on the altar rail and in the chancel were hand carved. The interior walls were reportedly stained with a mixture brewed from tobacco plants. The interior is virtually unaltered, including original altar rail and chancel furnishings, pews, organ, and stained glass.
St. Andrew’s was photographed and recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1936. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on November 7, 1973, and was declared a National Historic Landmark on the same day.
St. Andrew’s is a frequent subject of artists and professional photographers. The church is the cover subject for the award-winning 2006 book “American Country Churches” by William Morgan. It is also featured in the book, “Gifts of Grace: Alabama Churches in Watercolor” by Bob Moody.
This church is located in south Hale County on CR 12 approximately 0.1 miles west of the Gallion, Alabama Post Office (32°30’36.3″N 87°42’03.6″W – Google Maps).
Sources: 1) NRHP “St. Andrew’s Church” Nomination Form; 2) “St. Andrew’s Church” Historical Marker; The Alabama Catalog, A Guide to the Early Architecture of the State, by Robert Gamble.
B&W photographs courtesy of the U. S. Library of Congress, photographer: Alex Bush, date: June 30 & 31, 1936.
Video provides snapshots of the St. Andrew’s Church