Augusta Partners in Ministry
St. Mary's and Good Shepherd
The Diocese of Georgia has three historically African-American congregations and St. Mary's in Augusta is one of them. Founded on Lincoln's birthday, February 12th in 1889, St. Mary's grew out of an earlier movement led by members of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church over the issue of racial discrimination. From the 1940's through the1960's, St. Mary's played a significant role in the civil rights movement both nationally and in the city.
Today, St. Mary's continues as an active Episcopal congregation in downtown Augusta located onTwelfth Street in the shadow of Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Good Shepherd is a partner in ministry with St. Mary's in a number of projects. This partnership finds personal expression in the person of Andy Menger, who in addition to his duties at Good Shepherd, serves as Priest-in-Charge of St. Mary's.
Christ Church and Good Shepherd
Christ Church is a historic Episcopal church in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, Georgia. It's the oldest Episcopal church building in Augusta, having been built in 1871 to initially house the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was up the hill in the Summerville neighborhood of Augusta. Legend has it that when Good Shepherd outgrew the church building, they moved the entire church down the hill to Harrisburg in 1882 where it has stood ever since.
Christ Church was built initially to serve the millworkers who worked in the mills of Harrisburg which borders the Augusta Canal. Early in the 20th century, the members of Christ Church came together as “the willing workers.” They sought out the lost and the poor and introduced them to the Gospel. They built a library, free school for girls, and swimming pool for children. Deaconess Ruth Byllesby, taught Sunday school and helped families with milk money, clothing, and other basic needs during the Great Depression.
As the mills declined and eventually closed, the families of Christ Church moved to other parts of Augusta or surrounding towns.
Today, the church is made up of families that have been worshiping there for generations as well as newcomers and everyone in between. They're a small congregation that honors the historic traditions of Anglican liturgy (Rite I Holy Eucharist every Sunday), and lives the Gospel (through their Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry and Medical Clinic), all the time creating and nurturing friendships with their fellow parishioners. While our liturgy is formal, we’re anything but, and we always enjoy meeting new friends.
Christ Church and Good Shepherd are new partners in ministry as Lynn Prather,Good Shepherd's Assistant Rector for Pastoral Ministries, also serves as Vicar of Christ Church.