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As early as 1836, it is recorded that a group of Episcopalians existed in Talladega, Alabama, in great need of a church home.  As they were indeed a flock without a shepherd, it was to be their good fortune that by 1850 the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Hamner Cobbs, the first bishop of Alabama, heard about this faithful flock in Talladega, and took action. Upon visiting, he recorded in his journal, “First Sunday after Easter visited Talladega, preached twice, baptized an infant. Here a parish has been organized and the prospects are improving." Bishop Cobbs called on the Rev. Thomas Cook, challenging him to establish a parish church here. Father Cook began holding Episcopal worship services in a store-front building on the town square in 1852, which endured for two decades, during which time several priests came and went.
Out of those humble beginnings, the first Episcopal church in east-central Alabama was born, and took the name of Grace Episcopal Church of Talladega. Then came the Civil War.  And hard times.  But this faithful flock in Talladega endured.


By 1869, the Rev. J.F. Smith had been called to serve as rector for the Talladega Episcopalians, fifty something in number, and together they built the original wood framed church on North Street. In 1872, the newly constructed building was completed and ready for them to move in. Early on, during his ambitious twenty year term, he led the unusual effort to rename the church, establishing the new name of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Long before the cathedral or any other parishes in this region were even a consideration, St. Peter's was acknowledged as being the "Mother Church" of the region — a historical note worth highlighting.
Eventually, it was time to build a more permanent structure for the church. In 1898, Bishop Henry M. Jackson traveled to Talladega to consecrate the grounds and lay the corner­stone for a "new stone church." Funding dwindled and it was 1922 before Bishop William McDowell re-laid the cornerstone and work on the new limestone structure church began again which was completed in 1927. This structure was designed by the prominent architect, Frank Lockwood.

During the course of the 20th century, beautiful stained glass windows and a historic 1904 Hook and Hastings pipe organ were installed. The church purchased the organ from First Baptist Church. Lawrence Hall (the day school building) was added in 1958, and Bingham Hall (the parish hall complex) was added over the years.   
Enter the 21st  century. St. Peter's Church underwent an extensive restoration project from 2015-2017, just eleven years shy of the structure's 100th anniversary.  When the time came to dedicate the beautifully restored building, its opening was gratefully and proudly proclaimed to be debt free.  No small accomplishment.  The Rev. Ben Turnage was priest-in-charge during this time. Moving forward into yet another new chapter of its history, in 2021, the parish called the Rev. Susan Oakes as their rector and the St. Peter's family continues to love God, care for one another, and serve the world.

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