Christ Church, Frederica

Christ Church, Frederica, St. Simons Island.  June 25, 2008.

Christ Church, Frederica, St. Simons Island. June 25, 2008.

While Betsy and I were visiting St. Simons Island in Georgia, we stopped at Christ Church, Frederica.  Christ Church is an Episcopal Church built on the site of the first Episcopal church on the island.

Actually, the history of worship on the site goes back even further.  In March, 1736, Charles Wesley held worship services for the new settlers at Frederica.  In 1737 John Wesley established a church for the people of Frederica and the other settlement on the island, Fort St. Simon.  When John Wesley left St. Simons he was replaced by George Whitefield.  All three men held services on the site of the present church.

The building of a church structure was delayed by the Revolutionary War, and it wasn’t until 1810 that the construction of a church building on the site began.  The building was completed in 1820 and used until the Civil War.

Returning at the end of the Civil War, residents of St. Simons found Union troops had destroyed much of the church.  Windows had been broken, pews smashed and burned, the roof was heavily damaged and both the altar and the organ had been destroyed.

The congregation met in homes until 1884, when Anson Green Phelps Dodge rebuilt the church as a memorial to his first wife.  It is this church which we visited.  The church building is cruciform in design, with a trussed Gothic roof.  The building contains beautiful stained glass windows depicting incidents in the life of Christ and the early history of the church on St. Simons.

To see more of our visit to Christ Church click HERE.

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