Christ Church, Frederica
Christ Church, Frederica is located in a serene setting formed by native live oaks, holly and cedar trees. On the site of Christ Church, nestled among huge oak trees on the scenic north end of St. Simons Island, John and Charles Wesley preached before returning to England to help found the Methodist Church. In addition to being credited with founding the Methodist Church in England, the Wesley brothers also played a major role in the development of the Episcopal Church.
The first church structure was built in 1820 but was partially destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1884, the Reverend Anson Phelps Dodge, Jr., built the present structure in memory of his wife, Ellen. Christ Church is constructed of wood in the cruciform design with a trussed Gothic roof and steeple. The grounds contain a cemetery with graves of early settlers and many famous Georgians. One famous Georgia author, Eugenia Price, who wrote many novels including a series on St. Simons is buried here along with Lucien Knight, the first state historian of Georgia. Still another famous Georgian, a plantation owner who owned the point on St. Simons where the lighthouse was built, is buried at Christ Church cemetery. A little known fact is that the cemetery’s oldest tombstone is from 1803.
Today, the beautiful church and its magnificent stained glass windows are home to an active Episcopal congregation on St. Simons. Christ Church is one of St. Simons Island’s most treasured landmarks. Don’t forget to bring your camera, Christ Church, Frederica is one of the most photographed locations on St. Simons Island and some say, in America.
Christ Church, Frederica is open to the public for tours Tuesday through Friday from 2:00pm - 5:00pm. (they are closed on Easter and Christmas) For safety reasons, the cemetery grounds are closed every Monday for routine landscape maintenance from 7:00am - 4:00pm. Visitors can walk the grounds for free. Services are held each day at 5:00pm, on Fridays at 11:30am, and every Sunday from 8:00am - 11:00am. Please be respectful and quiet when on the grounds, and avoid visits during service hours.
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