Saint Augustine's Episcopal Church
Founded 1900, Inc. 1904
Come Join Us For
Service every Sunday at 9AM
Bible Study every Wednesday at 5:30
Choir Rehearsal every Sunday after service
Join the Episcopal Church Women
Men of St. Augustine's
Plan an activity with our YOUTH!
"Connecting People to People"
"Connecting People to God"
IN THE BEGINNING Colored Episcopalians came from the Islands: Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Phillips and all over the United States to work or visit in Atlantic City. They were accustomed to the High Service of the Episcopal Church of England. These Colored Anglican Episcopalians attended the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (which before the turn of the century was located at Pacific and Michigan Avenues) because a church on the Northside did not exist.
It was quoted, "If there is no well-equipped Colored Episcopal Church in Atlantic City, they will certainly go to the White church as they have a right to do. This is their Father's House." Without the presence of St. Augustine’s Church, in Atlantic City, all of the white parishes would have a considerable colored element, which might not prove to the comfort of the white congregation. (Periodical-THE CHURCH ADVOCATE).
The second rector of the Church of the Ascension was the Rev. John H. Townsend, whose insight and love for the Colored people, opened the way to establish St. Augustine's Episcopal Church on St. Augustine's Day, 1900. It was carefully explained that it was not an effort to get rid of the Colored Communicants of the Ascension Church; they would continue their membership in Ascension and would only be transferred to the new enterprise upon their request.
The Rev. John H. Townsend, rector of the Church of the Ascension purchased the lot (1709 Arctic Ave.) where St. Augustine’s Church is presently located for $3500.00. On St. Augustine Day in 1900, a special service at the Rev. Townsend’s Church launched the new congregation of St. Augustine’s. Bishop Scarborough, then Bishop for the Diocese of New Jersey formerly blessed and opened St. Augustine’s Church on November 20, 1900. The former Guild Hall at l2 South Indiana Ave. had been moved to Arctic Ave., and afterwards, a third floor was added became the Church Guild Hall, Sunday School complex and rector's quarters.
In 1920, the present Church was built adjacent to this building which was reconverted to the present parish hall, Sunday school and office complex. The Rev. James N. Deaver began his ministry on March 1, 1901. Bishop Scarborough was Bishop of the Diocese and opened St. Augustine’s Church on November 20, 1900.
From the beginning of the Church, it has been self-sustaining never receiving missionary aid. St. Augustine’s pioneered in schools such as; cooking, sewing, kindergarten and printing. They are the original founding site of the John Brooks Recovery Center, the only church to take in and help drug addicts in the community at that time, a recovery center still in the existence today. St. Augustine’s Church has continued to act as a beacon of light to the community through their Kidney Awareness Programs and various health programs, The Azarel Computer Literacy Program, Summer Vacation Bible School, and their Beauty for Ashes program, which is in the pre-launch stages of inception.
These are the succession of Rectors who have served St. Augustine’s:
The Rev. James N. Deaver who served from 1901 to 1926, was followed by The Rev. C. Canterbury Corbin (1927-1956), The Rev. Canon Kenneth MacDonald (1956-1970), The Rev. Arnold T. Hollis (1970-1977) followed by The Rev. Earl S. Pierce (1979 – 2003), The Rev. Dr. Augustine Unuigbe (2005-2011).