History of St. James'
The Episcopal Church had its beginnings in the Sault area in 1832 when a mission was established. A few years later, all missions were discntinued and there was no Episcopal service in the area for about 40 years.
In 1880, the Rt. Rev. S.S. Harris, Bishop of Michigan, visited the Sault area and arranged for the first service to be held in the schoolrooms at Fort Brady.
Later that summer, a permanent mission was organized. A new building opened on Christmas Day in 1881. It was the barest of structures and was built on property near the present location of War Memorial Hospital.
By 1885, St. James' Church became a self-supporting congregation and was incorporated as a Parish of the Episcopal Church late that year.
The congregation soon outgrew its original church buildin and the construction of the present building was begun. Stone from the power canal excavatoin was donated for the construction of this church building. Rough lumber and timber were also donated, as were the memorial stained glass windows.
The Building is of Gothic Revival design patterned after English parish churches of the late medieval period. The typical Gothic hammer beam ceilings and the Tiffany stained windows are some of the notable features of the interior. The Resurrection window over the High Altar and the beautifully hand carved figures of the four Evangelists on the rerodos are of special interest. The spectacular west window is the third larges stained glass window in the state. The window in the south chapel depicts the Ascension, and the one in the north chapel depicts the Nativity.
The needlepoint kneelers for the communion rail and Acolytes, plus the wedding kneeler and kneeler for the Litany Desk wer designed and fashioned by church members. In each kneeler, there are approximately 240,000 stitches.