'Alive' - San Juan Bautista Mission

'Alive' - Breathtaking old mission church remains alive and strong.

La Misión del Glorioso Precursor de Jesu Cristo, Nuestro Señor San Juan Bautista (The Mission of the Glorious Precursor of Jesus Christ, Our Lord San Juan Bautista).

The present church was dedicated on June 23, 1812, and replaced the much smaller adobe chapel of 1797-98 built by Ygnacio Barrera, Second Carpenter of the frigate Concepción. In 1818 Anglo-American carpenter Felipe Santiago (Thomas Doak), the earliest American settler in California, painted (and very likely constructed) the main altar reredos after a design by Fr. Estevan Tapis.

The 1818 main altar reredos (altar screen) and bultos (saints) remain largely un-restored. The church ambo or pulpit, which has a sounding board mounted overhead, was installed shortly after 1812-13. In 1820 the church acquired the larges and most complete collection of apostolate paintings in the mission chain.


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