Grace Church

Also known as: Grace Protestant Episcopal Church
Wilson and Greene Sts., Clarkesville, Georgia


Founded in 1838, the building was completed in 1842. The church was started by families who vacationed in Clarkesville to escape the heat and danger of fever in Charleston and Savannah, and is the oldest church building in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Built by Jarvis Van Buren, the building’s historic features include over 42 hand -blown glass windows, straight-backed box pews, and a pipe organ which is the oldest working church instrument in Georgia.

Photo taken by pam phillips in October 2015



Street View 


GRACE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH The first Episcopal service in Clarkesville was held Oct. 28, 1838, by the Rev. Mr. Ezra B. Kellogg, sent from N. Y. to the Diocese of Georgia as a missionary to this section. On Dec. 12, 1838, at his home, Grace Church was organized for three local Episcopal families and the many coastal families of the denomination who spent their summers here. On April 15, 1839, this, the sixth Episcopal Church in the State, was admitted to the Diocese. On June 7, 1839, this square acre lot was purchased from James Brannon for $100. For the first year services were held in the Methodist Church and Clarkesville Academy. In 1841, the Rev. J B. Gallagher succeeded as Rector. Under his guidance, this building, begun in 1839, was completed in 1842. It was consecrated Oct 6, 1842 by the Rt. Rev. Stephen Elliott, JR., (first) Bishop of Georgia, who reported it as “a very neat wooden building, with tower and bell, prettily located and an ornament to the village.” Among prominent early members were: Richard W. Habersham, Sr., John R. Mathews, Wardens: Alexander Erwin, Benjamin F. Patton, George D. Phillips, John R. Stanford. Samuel A. Wales, John S. Dobbins, Dr. Phineas M. Kollock, Jacob Waldberg. Vestryman: Richard W. Habersham. Jr., George R. Jessup, lay delegates to the convention that admitted this church to the Diocese.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 15, 1980
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion; Performing Arts
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant years
1839; 1842
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • November 6, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller