History of St. Peter's Church and a Glimpse into the Future
St. Peter's has a special Anglican legacy. Over 250 years ago on February 8, 1736, not far from where our church building stands, the famed English preacher, the Reverend John Wesley, who had accepted General Oglethorpe’s invitation to come to the new Georgia colony, conducted Anglican services on our island for a "small but attentive congregation." Wesley sailed up and down the Georgia coast in a small sloop, preaching and ministering to the inhabitants of the then sparsely settled Colonial islands. In a very real sense, St. Peter's Church brings Anglican worship back to Skidaway Island.
Another facet of our Anglican legacy relates to our initial meeting place. Our first service was held in the Whitefield Chapel at Bethesda Home for Boys on May 6, 1990 and we worshipped there for over two years. The pretty little chapel is patterned after the Reverend Whitefield's home church in England. Bethesda was founded in 1740 by the Rev. George Whitefield and James Habersham at the suggestion of John and Charles Wesley, and it has been in continuous operation ever since. No place of worship could have given St. Peter's a better start.
In our third year, St. Peter's acquired over five acres of heavily wooded land adjacent to the Village at Skidaway Island. This was to become our congregation's permanent home. The site is central to Skidaway Island and yet easily accessible to our many parishioners and friends who live on the other shores.
Our buildings are situated at the corner of West Ridge Road and Lake Street and they bid "welcome" to all who pass by. The first service was held on July 3, 1994 before the building was completed . . . in the rain!
Later that year, the church was completed. It was consecrated by Bishop Henry Louttit, Bishop of Georgia on September 7, 1995. St. Peter's is designed to accommodate over 400 worshipers. The nave and chancel are laid out East and West, and the North and South transepts create the traditional cruciform pattern which have served Christianity so well for two thousand years. Its tall steeple towers over Skidaway's stately pines and oaks and its Gothic windows look out into the surrounding forest.
From the first day the new church of St. Peter's began, talented parishioners have materialized to carry out each task as if God knew our needs. At our very first service, we already had a choir in place, soon followed by an Altar Guild, Acolytes, Ushers, Lay Readers, Chalice Bearers, a Sunday School and Nursery, an Outreach Committee, a Visitation Committee and many other ministries essential to the start-up of a church. Over the years, as quickly as new tasks have arisen, enthusiastic parishioners have continued to come forward. Our programming expands as new members offer their gifts to the life of the parish.
Evangelism at St. Peter's is a way of life. The enthusiasm and love of God as shown by our clergy and congregation are contagious and attract many to our parish family. We make sure YOU know that there is a place here for YOU!
We welcome the opportunity to become acquainted. To experience St. Peter's, you must come and see!