Founded in 1733, the original site for Christ Church Anglican (CCA) was the plot offered as a “trust lot” from the King of England for a house of worship in Savannah. The first worship services were actually held in the courthouse building of the colony. In this building, both John Wesley and George Whitefield exercised their ministries as Anglican clergy.
John Wesley, the third Rector of Christ Church Anglican, served from 1736-1737. Although he desired to be a missionary to the Indians, Oglethorpe assigned him to serve in Savannah. In disagreement with many in his congregation, Wesley believed in weekly Sunday communion and baptism by immersion. He taught a Sunday School program for children (reputedly the first in America) and in 1737 published a Collection of Psalms and Hymns, the first English hymnal in America. His famous conversion experience occurred after his return to England, where he continued to serve as an Anglican priest and a catalyst for what has been called “The Great Welsh Revival.”
George Whitefield succeeded Wesley as the priest responsible for the church in Savannah, serving intermittently from 1738-1740. He traveled extensively during this period, preaching with intensity and length that often exceeded the conventions prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer. His travels and preaching raised money for the colony’s Orphan House, which he named Bethesda. Whitefield is most noted for his captivating oratory, and was influential in “The Great Awakening” of the colonial period.
One of the most important and enduring ministries of Christ Church Anglican is the Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens. Started in 1935 by the women of the congregation, this event has been presented annually for more than 80 years as a way to show hospitality to visitors and to raise funds for mission and ministry on a local, regional, and international basis.
The musical legacy that began with John (and Charles) Wesley returned with Francis Bland Tucker, Rector of Christ Church from 1945-1967, who was a major author of hymn texts. Our current music ministry reflects a richness and diversity worthy of our past as well as connected to the present.
Due to profound and irreconcilable theological differences, Christ Church Anglican withdrew from The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia in 2007 in order to maintain its commitment to the Historic Christian Faith and its Anglican expression. Our journey from Johnson Square to our current location included a stay at Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC), which graciously offered us the use of their facilities for over three years.
Our current building, located in the Thomas Square Neighborhood, was first Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church (built in 1913), and later The Christian Revival Center. Our fellowship hall, Hebron Hall, is named in memory of the noted pastor of The Christian Revival Center, the late Rev. Freddie Hebron, a long-time friend and pastor in ministry with our recently retired Rector of 29 years, the Rev. Dr. Marc Robertson.