From “Resuscitation” through the War Between the States

1823 Opening of Virginia Theological Seminary. Founding of the Diocese of Georgia at Saint Paul’s Church, Augusta.
1839 Publication of “Tracts for the Times” in the United States.
1842 Founding of Nashotah House seminary by Breck, Adams, and John Henry Hobart, Jr.
1843 Increasing controversy in the United States surrounding the Oxford Movement.
1845 Founding of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion, an order of nurses, in New York City by William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers. They founded St. Luke’s Hospital in 1850.
1853 Bp. Levi Silliman Ives deposed at General Convention for having left the Episcopal Church for the Roman church. Presentation of the Muhlenberg Memorial, the beginning of an ecumenical movement.
1857 Founding of the University of the South at Sewanee.
1860 South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861 The southern bishops meet in Montgomery from July 3-6. Stephen Elliott, Jr. was Presiding Bishop. William Meade presided at a second meeting in Columbia later that year. Adoption of the constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America.
1862 From March 19-21, the Bible Convention of the Confederate States of America meets in Augusta.
1862 The General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church at which the southern delegation was marked as “absent”. On November 22, a pastoral letter from the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church to the clergy and laity of the Church in the Confederate States in America is delivered at the General Council meeting at Saint Paul’s.
1865 The 28th General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, attended by a few delegates and bishops of the southern church. On November 8-10, the second and last General Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States in America meets at Saint Paul’s, with Stephen Elliott, Jr. as Presiding Bishop.

One of the major issues in the national church of the 19th century was the conflict between Low Church (Evangelical) and High Church (Anglo-Catholic) thought. Much of the conflict centered on the idea of “baptismal regeneration”, and the growing influence of the “Oxford Movement” in the United States, beginning with publication of “Tracts for the Times” in 1839. Seabury was a high churchman in the Laudian (Archbishop William Laud of England) tradition, as was Bp. John Henry Hobart. The Hobartian High Church Party antedates the English Oxford Movement. The “Tracts” of the Oxford Movement found favor at General Seminary (which became known as “Little Oxford”), but not at VTS. They were never popular among the Hobartians or Evangelicals. Bishop Levi Silliman Ives of North Carolina defected to the Roman church, and was deposed at the 1853 General Convention.

Although the Episcopal Church did divide during the Civil War, it did reunite quickly after the war was over. The Church in the South had not been strong prior to the Civil War. The Church had largely agreed not to discuss the issue of slavery, considering it a political matter, although Bp. Seabury of New York and Bp. John Henry Hopkins of Vermont wrote treatises in support of slavery. Once the Confederate States of America was formed, the southern church was forced to separate from the United States. Bishops Leonidas Polk of Louisiana (the “Fighting General”) and Stephen Elliott, Jr., of Georgia formed the Ssuthern church, and Bishop Elliott became Presiding Bishop. Prayer Books smuggled into the South, hidden in cotton bales; these became known as “Cotton Books”.

At the 1862 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the role was called as if there had been no secession, and the southerners were marked as “absent”. This action facilitated speedy reunification after the war. (The Baptist church has never reunited; the Methodists reunited in 1939, the Lutherans in 1918, and the Presbyterians in 1961.)

1822 The first organ in Saint Paul’s Church is installed in the gallery. It is manufactured by Mr. Thomas Hall of New York. The first organist was James Hewitt (1770-1827), an Irishman whose national reputation in the United States as a musician was well known.
1823 On February 24, the Diocese of Georgia is founded at Saint Paul’s Church, Augusta with Christ Church, Savannah and Christ Church, Saint Simon’s Island as the original parishes. Bishop Nathaniel Bowen of South Carolina presided at the convention. Delegates from Saint Paul’s include the Rector, Hugh Smith, with lay delegates, John Course, Edward F. Campbell and Dr. Thomas I. Wray. Bishop Bowen was invited to perform Episcopal offices in Georgia. Each church was to pay $1,500 per annum to the Diocese for its support.
1823 The Diocese establishes the “Protestant Episcopal Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia.” This is intended as a mechanism by which additional Episcopal Churches can be established in Georgia.
1826 Saint Paul’s Sunday School has “upwards of 50 scholars.”
1826 An act of the legislature allows Saint Paul’s to sell a part of its lot on the far northern end of the property granted by the state. This has been used up until 1818 as a burial place for persons of color. Most of the graves have already been removed when Bay Street was extended behind the church, but permission is granted to remove such additional bones as can be found, to the public cemetery. Proceeds from the sale of this lot, anticipated for
use as commercial property, would be used to extinguish the debt held by the Parish.
1829 The Sunday School library has 60 volumes procured with $45 in collections for this purpose. A librarian is appointed to oversee the library, which will continue to grow in size.
1830 The church is debt free. Saint Paul’s “Female Missionary Society” has realized $1,200 for Missionary Purposes.
1832 The Reverend Hugh Smith accepts a call to Christ Church, Hartford, Connecticut. He subsequently becomes Rector of Saint Peter’s Church in New York City.
1832 Edward Eugene Ford (born 1796) of Morristown, New Jersey, is called as Rector of Saint Paul’s, beginning in May. Ordained as a Deacon when he first came to Augusta, he is ordained as priest by the Bishop of South Carolina later in the fall. His brother, Dr. Lewis D. Ford, is a parishioner and connected with the Medical College of Georgia.
1833 Saint Paul’s Sunday School has 95 children, with 3 male teachers and 12 female teachers. Its library has 220 volumes. Sunday School is held in the gallery of the church.
1838 Mrs. Louisa V. Marshall is appointed organist and serves for twenty years, until 1858.
1840 The Reverend Stephen Elliot, Jr., Professor of Sacred Literature at the College of South Carolina, is elected the first Bishop of Georgia. He is consecrated on February 28, 1841 and doubles as the Rector of Saint John’s Church, Savannah.
1842 Saint Paul’s is suffering greatly from emigration to newer settlements to the west. Two persons were “repelled” from communion for unchristian conduct.
1842 At the suggestion of Bishop Elliot, the Reverend Edward Ford has begun a Sunday School for black children, which was being attended by about 80 whom were primarily servants of Parishioners.
1843 A brick Sunday School Building, measuring 30′ x 50′, is completed on the church lot.
1844 “Within the past year a commencement has been made of a parish school for affording gratuitous instruction in the elements of a plain education. It is taught by several Ladies of the congregation, who devote to this good work five days in the week, from 9 to 1 o’clock.” 40 to 50 scholars attended the school.
1847 The Parish purchases a parsonage for the Rector. It is greatly improved to make it more comfortable for the Rector and his family. The walls, ceiling and woodwork of the church are painted.
1850 The Wardens and Vestry of Saint Paul’s give their consent for the establishment of the Church of the Atonement on Telfair Street. This work is through the beneficence of Saint Paul’s members, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hollowell Gardiner, and Mrs. Gardiner’s sister, Miss Mary G. Jones. The cornerstone was laid in 1850. Atonement will be a free church, not requiring pew rental for its maintenance. The Reverend William H. Harison becomes its first Rector, and marries Miss Mary G. Jones. In 1851 the new parish is admitted to the Diocese and is consecrated in 1852 by Bishop Elliot.
1852 The ladies of Saint Paul’s, under the leadership of Mrs. Theodosia Bartow Ford, wife of the Rector, begin the “Church Widows’ and Orphans’ Asylum.” This institution is usually referred to as the “Church Asylum” and was incorporated as the Augusta Orphan’s Asylum. A house was procured in 1855 and the orphanage started with about 5 girls and a Matron, who was a member of Saint Paul’s.
1859 Mrs. Martha Jones Moderwell left a legacy in her will of $2,000 to be applied to the Parish School. The Trustees of the fund were to be the Bishop and  the Rector.
1860 There are 184 communicants of Saint Paul’s Church.
1861 A new organ by Jardine and Son of New York is purchased at a cost of $2,200 and installed in the gallery. Due to its size, which is larger than the previous organ, the gallery had to be enlarged. The church is completely renovated at the same time.
1861 Georgia secedes from the United States on January 19th, the fifth state to do so.
1861 A letter is issued by Bishops Leonidas Polk of Louisiana and Stephen Elliot of Georgia calling for a meeting of the various Dioceses in the Confederate States to be held in Montgomery, Alabama, on July 3, 1861.
1861 The Reverend Edward Eugene Ford resigns as Rector due to his infirm health. The Vestry refuses the resignation, after 27 years of service, and votes to grant a two-year leave of absence with annual pay of $1,200. The Fords move to Woodstock, near Cave Spring in Floyd County, Georgia.
1861 The Reverend William H. Clarke is appointed as Assistant Rector and takes up the work of the Parish. The Reverend Clarke has previously been the Rector of Saint Peter’s Church, Rome, Georgia, and previous to that had been in Pennsylvania.
1861 Edward F. Campbell dies on September 27th. Mr. Campbell had served a large portion of the time as Senior Warden “since the resuscitation of the parish in the year 1819.” An exception is made for burial of Mr. Campbell in the Churchyard, which had been closed since 1818. Major James P. Gairdner was elected Senior Warden on Easter Monday, 1862 but dies that very afternoon.
1862 November 12-22, the First General Council of the Episcopal Church in the Confederate States is assembled at Saint Paul’s, Augusta, with Stephen Elliott, Jr. as Presiding Bishop. The Council lasts 10 days and is attended by delegates of all Dioceses in the Confederate States of America. The Constitution and Canons, drafted at Columbia, South Carolina, in October 1861, are adopted for use by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States.
1862 The Reverend Edward Eugene Ford dies in Floyd County, Georgia. His funeral is held on December 28th and he is buried under the altar of Saint Paul’s Church.
1863 In January, the Reverend William H. Clarke is unanimously elected Rector. He remains in this position until his death in 1877.
1864 On June 29,  the funeral of General Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, is held at Saint Paul’s in Augusta and his remains are interred beneath the chancel window. Bp. Stephen Elliott preached the funeral sermon. Polk had been killed by a fragment of bursting shell at Pine Mountain, Georgia, on June 14th, while reconnoitering in the field with his staff.
1864 The Third Ward Georgia Hospital is set up at Saint Paul’s Church by the Confederate government.
1865 The War Between the States ends with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

Previous  Next

Return to Timeline Page