The Wesley Monumental Church is one of the handsomest Methodist churches in the South. This Gothic Revival church built in 1868, pays tribute to brothers John Wesley (1703-1791) and Charles Wesley (1707-1788). John Wesley founded the movement that became the Methodist denomination. His brother Charles Wesley wrote the words to about 6000 Christian hymns including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,”
Designed by architects Dixon and Carson, the chateau-like church was inspired by Queen’s Kirk in Amsterdam, Holland. The two spires measure 136 and 196 feet in height. Beautiful memorial windows of European stained glass are dedicated to Methodism’s historic personalities. The magnificent “Wesley Window” which faces the pulpit from the rear balcony, features life-sized busts of John and Charles Wesley.
Savannah’s first Methodist Church, Wesley Chapel, was established in 1807 and located at the corner of Lincoln Street and Oglethorpe Avenue. The congregation later purchased a lot on Telfair Square where they erected the present Trinity church building. In 1862 Wesley Chapel was closed, and the two churches became one, known as Trinity Church. By 1874, plans were proceeding for the erection of a new church building on a lot on Calhoun Square. It was to be a monument to John and Charles Wesley.
Ground breaking for the new church was held on June 30, 1875 and the cornerstone laying ceremony on August 10. Work proceeded slowly due to financial hardships and a yellow fever epidemic but the street level was completed in 1878. It would be 12 more years before the second story sanctuary was completed.
In December 1875, the South Georgia conference passed a resolution approving the erection of a monument to John Wesley in the form of “a beautiful and commodious edifice” to be called Wesley Monumental Church. Since funds were solicited and contributions were received from many areas of the world, it has been said that Wesley Monumental Church belongs to all Methodists.
Open to the public.
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