St. Paul’s, Jesup

Dear Readers,

In the 1900’s, Dot Dent and I undertook the task of sorting through boxes of old church memorabilia and making a sincere effort to make sense out of chaos. It immediately became obvious that much was missing/destroyed as good intent people over the years ”cleaned up” . So goes history.

Fr. Birt Sams complied some of the notes and wrote of the church history. This is based on notes of previous parishioners such as Mrs. Mary C. Surrency, Esther Thomas, Sue Breen and my mother, Bessie Milikin.

Much of the beginning records were notes jotted down at various places and there is some problem of interpretation and discreptices in the notes.

Dot and I have organized into various notebooks all the information that we could find. Also we contacted various previous priests of St. Paul’s for additional information. I have retyped much of the information in order to share with general interested readers. Human error is probable in this transition, so you are reminded that the original church records are the ones of authority. Most of the records here are from Volumns I & II.

Most materials are now stored in the church office or the hall display center near the library. These probably are available for careful public viewing when desired

Self appointed and now retired church historians,
Marie Madray and Dot Dent

Here begins a series on the HISTORY OF ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, JESUP—By Fr. Birt Sam

These papers belong to Leonard Surrency, and copies will be placed in the safe deposit box so they won’t be lost.

Typical of the manner in which the church was established and has grown in a number of the smaller towns and communities of the Diocese of Georgia is the story, as related by Mary C. Surrency, of “How the Episcopal Church Was Brought to Jesup, Georgia”. It is a romantic story of how the seed of the faith was sown in the heart of a young woman in this South Georgia town fifty-seven years ago, how it was nurtured by contact with the church as she attended college in North Georgia, how it blossomed into the holding of the first services in Jesup a few years later and how it subsequent blossomed and flowered into one of the most interesting and promising organized missions in the diocese.

The Story, as related by Mrs. Surrency, is in part, as follows:

In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Bohama, communicants of the Church, lived in Jesup, later moving to Atlanta. During the time they lived in Jesup, being interested in the Church, they talked with a friend, Miss Fanny Milikin, about the Church and its teachings. Later Miss Milikin visited the Bohamas in Atlanta and attended services there, learning about the Church. In a few years she went to Shorter College at Rome, Georgia, where she found her roommate, Miss Laura Natall Hume, to be a communicant of the Episcopal Church, and they attended services together in Rome.

The seed was then sown for an Episcopal Church in Jesup. The first church services and Sunday school classes were begun in 1891, and were well attended. Miss Milikin and her roommate of college years, Miss Hume, were the first teachers and headquarters was the Milikin School House.

From then on services were held in the home of Captain and Mrs. Ben Milikin, Sr., in the Methodist Church, in the Baptist Church, and in the Milikin School House. It is recorded that the first priest to visit the mission was the Rev. J.W. Turner from Waycross who held services and conducted baptism at the Milikin School.

SECOND in the series begun March 22nd. A History of St. Paul’s—(The Surrency Papers)

On June 19, 1894 at the Milikin School the Rev. A.G.P. Dodge from St. Simons Island baptized Mrs. Kate Milikin Smith. Rev. Mr. Dodge was the creator of the Anson Dodge School for Boys on St. Simons, a diocesan institution. In 1895 the Rev. W.W. Kimble held services in the Baptist Church and in the home of Joseph Southwell. On April 6, 1902, in the old Baptist Church Miss Martha Hopps Milikin was baptized by the Rev. Henry Cassils, and on April 14th of the following year the Rev. Mr. Cassils for Lilly Bell Hopps Frost whose parents were communicants of St. Paul’s Church Savannah.

During the fall of 1904 the Rt. Rev. C.K. Nelson, D.D., bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, officiated at a service and afterwards discussed with the Jesup churchman the matter, of erecting a church. Plans were made with Mrs. Mattie Milikin as chairman of the building fund, and with the aid of Mrs. Mary C. Surrency; subscriptions were obtained from friends both within and without the Church. When the amount specified by Bishop Nelson had been raised it was augmented by further funds from the diocese and from the Church Building Fund in New York.

Land was donated by W.H. Whaley, Sr., a communicant, and in the spring of 1905 Bishop Nelson sent a contractor to begin construction of the church which was completed by the fall of that year. The name of “St. Paul” was selected by the congregation. Bishop Nelson conducted the first service in the new church, bringing with him a brass cross given to the diocese and bearing the inscription, “Gift of Society of St. Charles, K. & M. of England”.

Mrs. Ben Milikin, Sr., mother of Mrs. Fanny Milikin Thomas and Mrs. Martha Milikin Bray, “directed and guided us when we were discouraged”, said Mrs. Surrecny. “Mother Milikin” was always interested in the church work, entertaining Bishop Nelson (on his visits), priests and lay readers in her home, and now as she turns to the sunset of her life at the age of 93 years she still contributes through her prayers and gifts to the church.

THIRD in the series started March 22nd, A History of St. Paul’s –(The Surrency Papers)

The writer went on to say that “Mr. Kenan from Savannah, the first lay reader, was here only a few months before he died. The font in the church is a memorial to him”. Other lay readers she listed as three Savannahians, J.L. Villongs, Henry Bell Hodgkins (now Commander Hodgkins, a chaplain of the Church in the United States Navy), and Mr. Taylor, W.H. Whaley and H.B. Mandeville as wardens, Harry W. Surrency, secretary; R.M. Milikin, treasurer, and H.A. Burns, vestrymen, were elected in 1906.

Mrs. Surrency listed the priests who have officiated through the years at St. Paul’s, Jesup, as Follows: The Revs. C.G. Bradley, 1895-1899; D. Watson Winn, 1907-8, 1916-20; S.S. Powell, 1908; S.J. French, W.L. Mellichamp, 1910; G. Dornell, 1911-13; John Moore Walker, 1913-14, (now bishop of Diocese of Atlanta); Frederic North-Tummon, 1915, 1920-21; H.A. Crasser, 1920; Manning Patillo, Resident of Jesup, 1921-22; C.C.J. Carpenter, 1923, (now bishop of Alabama); S.B. McGlohon of Savannah; Jack Walthour (now chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point); Frederick Cousins, 1924-39; Stephen Barnwell (brother of the Rt. Rev. Middleton S. Barnwell, D.D., (present bishop of the diocese), 1939; John E. Rowell, 1942.

During the fourteen years in which the Rev. Mr. Cousins served as vicar the church grew and prospered and “when he resigned the members felt they had lost a good leader, having been with his congregation in their joys and sorrows”, Mrs. Surrency related. She told of Mr. Mandeville’s services as senior warden as superintendent of the church school and, at his death on August 3, 1920, of the torch being taken up by Roy E. Breen who has since been a stalwart not only at the mission in Jesup but in the council of the diocese.

In the fall of 1943 the Rev. Frank S. Doremus, who had been ordered a deacon at his home
Parish in Augusta, became vicar of St. Paul’s, Jesup, and St. Andrew’s Darien, taking up his residence in Jesup and soon taking a bride, Jean Elizabeth Fishburne, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. C. C. Fishburne of Darien. On March 24 of last year (1944) Mr. Doremus was ordained a priest by Bishop Barnwell in the first presented by the Rev. William H. Brady, rector of St. Paul’s Savannah and the sermon was preached by the Rev. Hamilton West, rector of St. Paul’s Augusta.

Mr. Breen is now senior warden; Richard M. Milikin, junior warden, Messrs. Emerson, Simms, Joseph Thomas and J.C. Hodges vestrymen. Mrs. Surrency concludes with the thought that although St. Paul’s; Jesup, is still a small mission, the years has brought many changes and improvements “Making us thankful we are one of God’s great Family”.

FOURTH in the series begun March 22, a History of St. Paul’s

(This begins the second section of this account; a handwritten note at the end indicates this was compiled by Fr. Peter Fleming from newspaper clippings collected by Mary Surrency and that he wrote it for the 1958 publication of “A History of the Church in Georgia” (Not included in “History of the Episcopal Church in Georgia”-Malone-1960)—The following section was written prior to January 14, 1957.

Following the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Doremus, the Rev. Irwin Hulbert, Jr., of Savannah, became the second priest in Jesup. He began his duties in July 1945 and served until the summer of 1950. During his ministry here, he was instrumental in the construction of the brick parish house, which was constructed in 1948. He also began the Men’s Club, which was the first of such in any Church in Jesup and has since been copied by almost every other Church in the city. Mr. Hulbert also established the first and only Alcoholics Anonymous chapter and under his guidance, the Church through this medium, was able to minister to “all sorts and conditions of men” within and without the Church, beginning through the medium of AA, Mr. Hulbert was able to extend his ministry beyond this phase and be a pastor not only to his own people, but “to all the people of Jesup” as someone has related to the writer.

Mr. Hulbert was ordained to the priesthood on January 25, 1946, The Conversion of St. Paul, in St. Paul’s Church, being the second ordination to the priesthood ever held in this Church. His wife is the former Frances Alvis of Lynchburg, Virginia. They are now residing in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

During his ministry, there was also considerable improvement of the Church grounds and great work with the young people of the Church and the community.

FIFTH in the series begun March 22, (the Surrency Papers)- this portion is from the section written by Fr. Peter Fleming, prior to Jan. 14, 1957

The Rev. Robert E.H. Peeples came to St. Paul’s following the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Hulbert in September 1950 and served until July 1st 1954. His ministry was marked by the rapid growth of the city of Jesup due to industrialization and increase population. “Father Bob”, as he was affectionately called by townspeople, realized that a growing community is harassed by teen age problems and on the basis of the good will begun by the former Vicar, he began the Teen Canteen, May 1952, for Wayne County which met every weekend in the Parish House. When the size of the organization grew to be too much for the accommodations at the Church, it was necessary to move to the Community House where and his wife, Cora, continued to serve as advisors. This organization no longer exists for the city of Jesup has realized its obligation to the youth of the city and county and has begun a citywide recreation program.

Father Bob came to Jesup from Cordele where he had been Vicar of Christ Church for about a year.

During his ministry there were some amazing facts; more people were presented for Holy Confirmation in the four years of his ministry than in the preceding ten years; more than four times as many parishioners transferred into the parish than had done so in the preceding ten years; and the number of baptized members are the number of communicants was nearly doubled. Also, new altar hangings were made by members of the parish, a new Hammond Organ was purchased for the Church which replaced a reed organ which had been in use since 1905, and an art class was begun in the parish house by a teacher from Brunswick. In May 1953 the first art show ever to be held in Jesup was in the parish house with more than 110 paintings being exhibited.

SIXTH in the series begun March 22nd, (the Surrency papers)==this portion is from the section written by
Fr. Peter Fleming, prior to Jan 14, 1957

The present Rector of St. Paul’s (The Rev. Peter Fleming) began his ministry in September 1954 and during the two month absence of a resident priest (July, August 1954), services of the Church were under the direction of Roy E. Breen, Senior Warden, who with competent lay readers, carried on the worship of the Church. Those layreaders were: Henry G. Backus, John C. Donaldson, George James Scherer Cappelmann, Frederick S. Milikin, J. Carl Parker, James B. Smith, Garrard Swarthout, Jr., and Joseph H. Thomas.

Since September 1954, the Rev. Peter Wallace Fleming, Jr., a native of Augusta, Ga., and of St. Paul’s parish there, has witnessed much continued growth in Jesup and at St. Paul’s. Of particular note was the third ordination to the priesthood on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, 1955, by the Rt. Rev. Albert Rhett Stuart, 6th Bishop of Georgia. This was the third such service to take place in St. Paul’s. Those participating in the service were: The Rev. Charles Demere of St. Anne’s, Tifton, the Rev. Charles F. Schilling, of St. Paul’s, Augusta, The Rev. Holland B. Clark, St. Michael’s, Waynesboro, The Rev. Charles Keyser, Holy Trinity, Jacksonville, and the Rev. John O,. Ford, Deacon,
St. Michael’s Church, Savannah.

LAST in the series begun March 22nd, (the Surrency Papers)—this portion is from the section written by Fr. Peter Fleming prior to Jan. 14, 1957.

In May 1955, St. Paul’s Church which had been a mission in the diocese since 1905 was admitted to full parish status at the 133rd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia, meeting at St. Alben’s Church, Fleming Heights, Augusta, Ga.

The first Senior Warden of the new parish was Joseph Henry Thomas whose mother was the insitgator for the beginning of the Church in Jesup. The first Junior Warden was George James Scherer Cappleman. The present priest, Father Fleming, is the first Rector of St. Paul’s.

In February 1958 the Church of Annunciation in Vidalia, Georgia, was begun by Fr. Fleming as a mission of St. Paul’s, Jesup. This was the first work of the Episcopal Church ever in Toombs County. The Church itself was named for the ordination day of Fr. Fleming.

St. Paul’s continues to grow with the city of Jesup and seeks to meet the challenge that is placed before her. Her Church School is having a record attendance, a Family Service has been instituted, a more complete Every Member Canvass has been carried out than in previous years, an annual Parish Meeting has been instituted for St. Paul’s Day on January 25th, members of the Young People’s Fellowship have been active in diocesan affairs under the able leadership of Mr. And Mrs. John C. Donaldson, the parish house has been completed with painting and tiling of floors and the budget of the Chuch since 1954 has been tripled. 1957 Budget is $14,886.

(1956)The present Vestry includes: Joseph H. Thomas, Sr. Warden, G.J. Scherer Capplemann, Jr.Warden , Robert E.L. Majors, Secretary, Dr. Lawrence R. Bennett Jr., Treasurer, Vestrymen are: Palmer W. Otto, Roy E. Breen, J. Carl Parker, Jimps C. Hodges, Thomas Smille, George Scofield.
Other officers in the parish are Mrs. Clint Madray, Jr., President of the Woman’s Auxiliary, Mrs. Marcus Poppell, Directress of the Alter Guild, Mr. Palmer Otto, President of the Men’s Club, Mr. James B. Smith, Church School Superintendent, Mr. Michael Harper, President of the Young People.

Having completed the serial presentation of the first of the “histories of St. Paul’s” now called the “Surrency Papers”, we turn to the second available to us, “St. Paul’s Church, Jesup—A History” written by Esther T Smith and dated Whitsunday, probably in 1966. This is the EIGHTH in the historical series.


The Episcopal Church was brought to Jesup along with the first college degree ever earned by a Wayne County female. In 1890, Miss Fannie Milikin, oldest daughter of Captain (CSA)and Mrs. Ben Milikin, graduated from Shorter College, Rome, Georgia, and returned home to found the Milikin School for young women. There was no public education for girls and a number of the town’s young ladies as well as Miss Milikin’s six younger sisters were enrolled. Miss Laura Hume, her roommate, an Episcopalian who had first interested Miss Milikin in the Church, joined her in the endeavor.

In 1891, the two young women established a Sunday School in the Milikin School, the first organized effort of the Church in Jesup. (Unless otherwise noted, the source for the information provided comes from the Register, notes of Mrs. Mary Campbell Surrency, and notes of the Milikin family.) It is interesting to note that the Sunday School met continually until 1967, when the program was dropped during the summer months. (Mr. Roy Breen)

In 1893 Bishop Nelson confirmed Miss Milikin and Captain Harry Whaley, and the following year five students, including three of the Milikin’s sisters, were baptized.

The unorgainized mission met at the Milikin School, the Baptist and Methodist Churches, and at Captain Milikin’s home. During this period the following missioners served it:
The Rev. J.W. Turner 1893
The Rev. W.W. Kimble 1893,1895
The Rev. A.G.P. Dodge 1894
The Rev. C.G. Bradley 1895-1896
The Rev. Thomas Stafford 1896
The Rev. J.G. Millbank 1897-1898
The Rev. M.C. Stryker 1898-1901

In 1900. the younger Milikin daughter, Miss Martha Hopps Milikin, Later Mrs. Maurice Bray, began to make inquiries into obtaining organized mission status and in 1902 the following petition was circulated:
“June 14, 1902

“We whose names are hereto subscribed, promise to pay to the Rt. Rev. Cleland Kinlock Nelson, D.D. Bishop of Georgia, or to his successor in office or to his or their authorized agent ot representative, the sum set opposite our names, for the purpose of building at Jesup a Church, Parish House, School House or Rectory for the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Each subscriber hereto agrees to pay not less than twenty percent of the amount subscribed when ever called upon, and the balance in month payments of not less than twenty per cent of the subscription.
W.H. Whaley $50 Fleming Smith $5
J.H. Hooker 5 Dan Raybon 1
J.G. Tuten, M.D. 10 H.L. Heritage 1
W.H. Roberson 5 John Yarbrough 1
M.D. Strickland 5 W.R. Westberry 1
W.P. Cobb 3 J.R. Thomas 1
F.E. Breen 20 L.O. Loyd 3
Dr. S.F. Ellis 2.50 J.W. Garner 2
Ben Milikin 25 K.C. Bennett 1
R.M. Milikin 5 D.J. Hoggan 1
J.F. Breen 5 Fred Heinsen 1
L. Carter 10 L.R. Akins 5 “

Most of those subscribing had no connection with the Church. The mission, which elected the name of St. Paul, had 44 baptized members. Nevertheless, in 1905 the church building on Cherry Street was constructed and in 1906 it was consecrated. Miss Martha Milikin, later Mrs. Bray, personally signed a note for the organ.

Continuing now with the SECOND installment of the ESTHER THOMAS SMITH history of St. Paul’s, the NINTH in this historical series.……………………In 1905 the church building on Cherry Street was constructed and in 1906 it was consecrated……………………………..

Missioners during this period were:
The Rev. R.A. Russell 1902
The Rev. J. J. Perry 1902
Archdeacon Henry Cassil 1902-1904
The Rev. C.G. Bradley 1906
The Rev. D. Watson Winn 1907-1908, 1916
The Rev. S. S. Powell 1908

Four layreaders were included in this number: Mr. Kenan, for whom the font was given; J.L. Villonga, Henry Bell Hodgkins, and a Mr. Taylor.

By 1909 the church had 25 adult communicants. The devoted churchmanship of these men and women, their influence on their families, and not least, their prolific marriage contributed to the growth of St. Paul’s. The same factors still play an inportant part in the parish topday. These included Mrs. Joseph H. Thomas, the former Miss Fannie Milikin, and her six sisters and brother; Mrs. John Breen, Mrs. Harry Breen, Mrs. Augustus Burns, Mrs. Robert Smith, Mrs. Maurice Bray and Mrs. Virgil McQuarrie, and Richard M. Milikin, Mr. Burns, and Mrs. Richard Milikin; Mr. And Mrs. Henry Mandeville and Mrs. Mandeville’s sister, Mrs. Dave Parker; a Drayton Family and a Cordon family; Captain Whaley and Mrs. Mary Cambell Surrency, Captain Whaley and Mr. Manderville were wardens.

The next maturing peiod of the mission brough some outstanding missioners and the confirmation of one of the diocese’s outstanding churchmen. Missioners were:
The Rev. S. J. French 1909
The Rev. W.L. Mellichamp 1910
The Rev. C. Cornell 1911-1913
The Rev. John Moore Walker 1913-1914
The Rev. Frederick North-Tumman 1915,1920-21
The Rev. H.S. Cresser 1920
Mr. Manning Patillo 1921-1922
The Rev. C.C.J. Carpenter 1923
The Rev. Jack Walthour 1923
The Rev. S.B. McGlohon 1923
The Rev. Frederick Cousins 1924-1938
The Rev. Stephen Barnwell 1939-1941
The Rev. John Rowell 1942

Three of these, John Moore Walker, C.C.J. Carpenter and Jack Walthour, became great Bishops of the Church. Mr. French was blind but could recite the proper collects, epistles and Gospels from memory. Mr. Patillo and his family resided in Jesup, the only one to do so. He had be ordained to the diaconate but was unable to accept the doctrine of the Virgin Birth and therefore could not accept ordination. Later he was able to resolve the difficulty. Mr. Cousins was a true pastor to the flock in Jesup and was much beloved.

During this peiod, Mrs. Mandeville’s sister, Mrs. Florence Breen, and her husband, an uncle-in-law to two of the Milikin sisters, were confirmed. With them came their three children including their son Roy E. Breen, the outstanding layman, without question, of St. Paul’s Jesup.

In 1920, following the death of Mr. Mandeville, Mr. Breen became Sunday School superintendent and began a great lay ministry in effect yet. In 1940, in fact, the secretary of the diocesan council, the late beloved Dr. James Lawrence, listed “the Rev.” Roy Breen as vicar of St. Paul’s. He was senior warden for about twenty-five years and was licensed as a lay reader through 1967. Mr. Breen’s spiritual force extended into diocesan and provincial leadership. He has been a member of the diocesan and served on practically every standing committee in Georgia. He is also a former trustee for the University of the South. In his farewell remarks to the diocese, Bishop Barnwell name him among “the finest men this Church of ours has ever produced” (various Diocesan Journals)

During this peiod Mr. Richard M. Milikin, only son of Captain Milikin, served as junior warden. He and Mr. Breen married sisters, both of whom were outstanding members of the women of the church and great Sunday School teachers. Mrs. Mary Surrency C. Surrency took particular interest in the choir. Mrs. Horace King Slover, the former Margaret Breen, daughter of John and Jane Milikin Breen, began playing the organ for services, a commitment which lasted thirty-five years.

TENTH in our Historical Series, is this third installment of the Esther Smith History of St. Paul’s—

“In 1943, the first resident vicar came to St. Paul’s, Jesup-St. Andrew’s, Darien, which were coupled as a circuit. The Rev. Frank Doremus served until 1945. During this period Mrs. Roy E. Breen was chairman of the diocesan Women of the Church, then known as the Ladies Auxiliary.

In 1945, the Rev. Edward Irwin Hulbert, Jr., became full time vicar and the vestry voted funds to heat the church. A large infusion of members came when the related families of Mr. And Mrs. James Lee Harper, Miss Gladys Harper, and Mr. And Mrs. Robert Majors were baptized.

In 1948 the mission decided to build a parish house adjoining the church. Mr. Breen and Mr. Milikin were wardens; vestrymen were Joseph H. Thomas, Henry Backus, James Lee Harper, Carlton Fender and Carl Parker. Outstanding help was provided by Harry Burns, Sr., his sons Harry, Jr. and Joseph, and his son-in-law Allen Pittman. The Parish house soon became of of Jesup’s central meeting [laces, as well as bring growing space to the mission. It is interesting to note that this building provided the facilities for Jesup’s first recreation program, the Teen Canteen, which was the seed for a community Recreation Commission boasting centers throughout the county with expansive programs.

Mr. Hulbert was greatly beloved throughout Jesup and environs and made countless friends for the Church among the wealthy, the poor, the white, the colored, the young, old, educated and ignorant. In addition, he helped develop a Vacation Bible School program with the Methodist Church which gave the Episcopal young people their first opportunity at this extension of Christian education. (Eye-witness accounts) At various times since the Episcopal Church in Jesup was sponsored its own.

In June, 1950, Mr. Hulbert left and was succeeded by the Rev. Robert E.H. Peeples, who was vicar until mid-1954.

In September, 1954, the Rev. Peter Wallace Fleming became vicar. Up until that time 188 People had been confirmed. The mission had matured and in May, 1955, St. Paul’s, Jesup was admitted to parish status under the leadership of Joseph H. Thomas, senior warde, the son of the former Miss Fannie Milikin, and George Scherer Cappelmann, junior warden. Vestrymen were J.G. Hodges, J.B. Smith, Fred S. Milikin, son of Richard Milikin, J. Carl Parker, George E. Scoffeld and Henry Backus. It is interesting that Mr. Cappelmann was the first of several members of the Lutheran Church who moved to Jesup and became Episcopalians, making outstanding contributions to the parish. Palmer Otto, later a senior warden, and Glen Larson, a vestryman, are others.

That same year Mrs. Mary Surrency gave the land on which, in 1960, a rectory was built. Fr. Fleming’s bride, the former Miss Marion Lucas, was the first to occupy it.

During this period Jesup experienced its most dynamic period of growth and St. Paul’s Jesup matched the town. From 1954-1963, 179 confirmations took place, almost as many as had occurred during all the previous years of the church here.

In this same period Mr. Joseph H. Thomas was the first member of the parish to serve as president of the diocesan men’s group. He was also on the executive council. From 1955-1957 his daughter, Miss Esther Thomas, now Mrs. James D. Smith, was chairman of the diocesan Young Churchmen. She also served as vice-chairman for the Young Churchmen in the IV Province for two years.

Another notable infusion of members from the same family occurred, when the related families of Lindsay, Fred, James and Ernest Harper entered the parish.

Fr. Fleming left in September, 1961, and the following month the Rev. Peyton Edward Splane, Jr. came as rector.

ELEVENTH in this Historical Series, is this fourth installment of the Esther Thomas Smith “History of St. Paul’s”

(Fr. Fleming left in September, 1961, and the following month the Rev. Payton Edwards Splane, Jr., came as rector.) By then the church, which would hold scarcely 100 members, was overflowing, and plans were begun to build a new church and parish house. Mr. Richard Milikin gave land on South Palm Street and a building committee, led by former senior warden Mr. Earl K. Murphy, was formed, Mr. Palmer Otto was senior warden and Mr. Allen Pittman junior warden. Vestrymen were L.R. Bennett, Jr., Fred Milikin, Dr. Dan Glover, John Mattox, Ernest Harper and Ray Barbee. The $150,000 building, one of the most modern in the South, was built based on the parish conception of its liturgical function. Over 400 baptized members were active when the building was consecrated by Bishop Albert R. Stuart on June 14, 1964.

Shortly after the consecration the first wedding in the new church occurred when Miss Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Joseph Thomas, Jr., and grand-daughter of the former Miss Fannie Milikin, was married to Frederick Reese Freyer, Jr., son of Mr. And Mrs. Frederick Reese Freyer and great-grandson of the late beloved Bishop Frederick Reese, without whom the new building might not have been.

During this time St. Paul’s produced another diocesan chairman of the Young Churchmen, Paul Salter.

In 1965, Fr. Splane departed and the Rev. Raymond Goodman came as rector on January 6, 1966. In Summer, 1966, St. Paul’s cooperated with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. In Jesup to have a two weeks lohg joint Vacation Church School. Classes were taught by Roman Catholic sisters in the new St. Paul’s parish house.

A choir was resumed under the guidance of Mr. Henry Backus, whose voice has led the congregation for over thirty years.

At this writing, the most recent burial from the parish was that of the last surviying Milikin sister, Mrs. Virgil McQuarrie. The first burial was that of her sister, Mrs. John Breen.

St. Paul’s continues to grow, with over 200 confirmed communicants. Great grandchildren of the earliest communicants are beginning to appear, as well as a continual stream of new members. The parish continues to exert leadership in education, both Christian and secular, in the community. The present rector has resumed membership in the Ministerial Association and the ministry of the parish extends into the town and county surrounding. Present senior warden is Harrison Woods.

Esther T. Smith (Mrs. James)
225 Drennon Dr. Jesup, Ga. 31545

Early History of St. Paul’s Church, Jesup, Ga.

In 1883 the Milikin family moved from Appling County to Jesup and later bought a home from Mr. J.L. Bohannon, an English lawyer. It was through their association with M. Bohannon that the Milikins became interested in the Episcopal Church.

In 1885 Fannie Milikin entered Shorter College at Rome, Ga. While at school she attended the Episcopal services and made friends with many Episcopalians. After Fannie graduated in 1890, she came home and started the Milikin Girls’ School. Two of her college friends, Laura Hume and Bettie Ledbetter from Rome came and taught in the school. These girls had a missionary influence on Jesup.

The first Episcopal Sunday School was held in the Milikin Girls’ School and its teachers taught the Sunday School. Rev. J.W. Turner was the first missionary to the mission at Jesup,. From this time on, missionaries visited Jesup fairly often, staying in the home of Capt. And Mrs. Ben Milikin. Before the church wa built, services were sometimes held in the Baptist or Methodist Churches. The church record shows baptisms in the Methodist church, the Milikin Girls’ School and the Milikin home. The first baptism in the new church building was in 1905. Many books were sent to the little church group in the early beginning. They were kept at the Milikin Girls’ School and made up a lending library. Many people came in contact with the church through these books.

The church was built around 1903 or 1904. It was begun under Bishop Nelson’s leadership. A Mr. Cook was contracted to build and the lumber was shipped in. Mr. William H. Whaley, an Englishman, who was a banker and landowner and one of the early members of the church, gave the lot for the church building. It was a lot with 100 ft. frontage and 200 ft. back, on ?Cherry Street (the main street in town). This lot was selected because of its nearness to town.

The original church building was rectangular and later was remodeled and made cruciform.

Soon after the building was completed an organ was purchased by Mrs. Mary Surrency and Mrs. Mattie Bray, committee in charge. The lecturn was given by Mrs. Claudia Fort Oast of Waycross. At one time she lived in Jesup and attended St. Paul’s. The font is memorial to Rev. John Kenan who died Jan,. 28, 1906. He had been layreader at St. Paul’s Jesup and other churches. The font base was build by Mr. Augustus A. Burns.

There has been one child who was immersed in the church here. Belle Milikin Burns (Mrs. Gud) had one of her children, Gussie, immersed when she was less than a year old. A galvanized wahtub was used.

Miss Bertha Prendergast was an active member of the church in its beginning for ten years. When she married Mr. Slover she joined the Methodist church. Fannie Thomas graduated from Shorter College in 1890. In 1893 she married J.H. Thomas and moved to Baxley. It was during these 3 years in Jesup that she started the Sunday School and did mot of her work for the church. Mary Surrency came to Jesup from the Episcopal Girl’s School in Macon, Ga. and married in 1903. Mr. And Mrs. Harry Manderville came here in 1907. Mrs. Manderville taught the primary grades in the Jesup school and in the church school for many years. Mr. Manderville, an Englishman, taught music in the school. He was superintendent of the church school until his death.

By Sue Breen, 1944, as told by Mr. R.M. Milikin
Re-typed March 1, 1967 for Mrs. R.M. Milikin, Sr.

(The previous series and historical accounts have been re-typed by Marie Milikin Madray, June, 2001.)