Pastor Steve Sturgeon became vicar at St John’s Episcopal Church, located at 85 E. 100 N. in Logan, about five years ago. He holds a Ph.D. in History and came to Logan to work at Utah State University. He’s been a member of the congregation since he came here 20 years ago.
He said St. John’s Episcopal Church has quite a history as the first non-Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Cache Valley.
Sturgeon said the first vicar, Episcopal Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle, came to the valley in 1873 on the first passenger train to Logan. He established his congregation as the northernmost Utah outpost. Tuttle arrived 21 years after Latter-day Saint pioneers started to settle in the valley.
“They met in various rented spaces in Logan until they built their first building on 300 W. Center Street, around 1880,” Sturgeon said. “We moved to our current site in 1909. At that time the church and parish house was connected.”
The parish brought many firsts into Cache Valley, including a school that was open to students from any faith. There was no publicly-funded school system until Utah realized statehood in 1896.
“Mormon pioneer children attended the school,” the reverend said. “They also brought the first public book lending library, tennis courts, indoor shower and the first smokers lounge to Logan.”
There are eight stained glass windows in the sanctuary; one, “The Angel Window,” dates back to 1916.
The congregation began to outgrow the space, so in 2003 they broke ground for the addition.
“We knew the church and home next to it had a significant historic value,” he said. “Logan City has a Historic Preservation Advisory Board and they had to sign off on the project.”
“In order to preserve the house to the west of the addition, they put it on rails and moved it 30 feet to the west,” Surgeon said. “Global Village Gifts uses the house as a non-profit retail outlet.”
“In 2004, we dedicated the modern addition with a new social hall and a classroom wing. There is also a choir loft used for overflow.
The baptismal font, located at the back of the sanctuary, was made from the same granite used in the baptistery in the Manti Temple, he explained.
It is a small parish. Attendance fluctuated over the years to an average of 30 people until recently.
The Reverend said there are probably 140 people in various degrees of activity that are a part of the congregation at St John’s Episcopal Church.
Sturgeon said there were times when the church may have closed in the 1950s for one reason or another.
Three times a year, St. John’s Episcopal Church holds a joint activity with First Presbyterian and Prince of Peace Lutheran faiths to celebrate certain religious events.
“We have a variety of groups that meet at the church, including a few 12 step programs and even a Girl Scout troop,” he said. “We welcome groups who need a place to meet. We consider some groups to be a part of our ministry.”
The church is open to the public. Their doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The worship meeting times are posted on the front doors.