A Campaign for Christ Church, Frederica
For answers to the most frequently asked questions
about Phase I of the Capital Campaign,
the Frederica Road Re-alignment Project,
please go to our FAQ page HERE,
Rooted In Faith
When The Rev. Charles Wesley stepped onto St. Simons in 1736, none of the party that came ashore to establish Fort Frederica had an awareness of how their efforts would shape the future. It’s quite certain none of them knew that their Anglican chaplain and his brother would go on to shape the Christian Church itself. Although Charles Wesley’s preaching under the oaks at Frederica didn’t endure for long, his ministry planted seeds that still bear fruit today.
Ministry on St. Simons continued as others picked up the mantel for themselves, making sure that Word and Sacrament was available to the people who lived here. Various challenges and wars prevented the construction of a church for nearly 100 years, but after its 1808 Founding, Christ Church’s first building was constructed in 1820. The decades and generations of effort by the small Anglican population on St. Simons had birthed a congregation that continues its ministry over 200 years later.
Christ Church endured the challenges of the 19th Century, most notably its near destruction during the Civil War, as a result of the faithful vision and effort of her people. Clergy and lay leaders alike made sure the Anglican message of God’s love was shared. That meant that when Anson G.P. Dodge, II arrived on St. Simons in 1879 he found the congregation meeting in a home once again. Anson began his training for the priesthood that year with a vision to return and rebuild Christ Church, which he did, completing the construction in 1886, one year after his ordination. He also built St. Ignatius Church that same year, which would later become a chapel of Christ Church.
In the years since, The Rev. Anson Dodge’s vision has been affirmed over and over again as the congregation steadily grew along with the Island’s population. Much has transpired in those years. The Island’s people have endured a Depression, wars, hurricanes, and so much more, yet were always comforted and inspired by the ministry of Christ Church and her people. Physical growth has come in stages through various Parish House facilities and expansions. No one knows how today’s vision will shape the future, yet we still faithfully plant seeds and continue the work set in motion so many years ago.
A Growing Church
Christ Church’s historic sanctuary hasn’t changed much since 1886, yet little else has remained so static. St. Simons is a very different community as tourism and development reshape our quiet island. Thousands of persons now call this island “home.” From the days when Christ Church met in private residences, numbering its members in the dozens, we now have over 900 members with more than a third of those in attendance at services each week.
As Christ Church has grown in number and mission over the decades, the core of our ministry has always been centered on worship, particularly Anglican liturgical worship, and formation. It is from this steady stream of Word and Sacrament that we inspire worshipers to put their faith into action out in the world. The spiritual sustenance of Islanders in this regard has had a palpable effect.
In recent decades alone Christ Church parishioners have played leading roles in efforts like the creation of Glynn County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) services, The International Seafarer’s Center in Brunswick, the creation of the St. Simons Land Trust, the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, and many more. The impact Christ Church continues to have in the world is directly related to our ability to gather people for worship and formation. We help kids and adults deepen their faith to carry on our sacred mission.
Building for the Future: Why we need to build
This campaign is the first step in addressing the challenges we face with regard to our spaces and grounds: Increased traffic has meant it is more dangerous to park and walk to Christ Church; Our Sunday School offerings for kids and adults have outgrown our classrooms in number and size; Programs like Backpack Buddies don’t have adequate storage for the ministry we’re called to engage.
One Campaign in Three Parts
There are three components to the campaign: the 2022 Annual Campaign, a Capital Campaign, and the launch of the Dodge Society for Legacy gifts. All three enable the health and vitality of Christ Church and the fulfillment of our mission now, and for future generations. Each is a component of whole-life stewardship that responds faithfully to God’s call.
ANNUAL GIVING Annual giving invites gifts to fund the day-to-day mission and ministry of Christ Church. Funds support parish life, from administrative costs to Sunday School. We have history of increasing our annual giving as our ministry has expanded. It is vital that we do so again during this capital expansion so that our ministries continue to thrive.
CAPITAL GIVING When parish churches must expand their facilities to meet current needs and plan for the future, funding such projects is not done through annual giving. Capital campaigns invite additional gifts to help make such occasional expansions possible. Capital campaigns can also be used to grow endowments, buy property, or renovate older spaces. If we think of annual campaigns as the giving that helps churches “go,” capital giving is what lets us “grow.” Capital campaign giving is extraordinary giving and typically involves accessing funds beyond a person’s normal cash flow.
LEGACY GIVING Legacy giving is often our final act of stewardship. Such gifts are often conveyed through estate planning, wills, or other instruments at the end of our lives. Legacy gifts are the most selfless form of giving as we will not be around to enjoy the fruits of such gifts. Instead, we are helping ensure that the churches and institutions we love can fulfill their missions long after we are gone. Legacy gifts can be unrestricted or designated for specific purposes. The Dodge Society has been created to receive and recognize legacy gifts at Christ Church.
Christ Church’s leaders have done all they could to balance the preservation of the historic beauty of our spaces and grounds with the modern needs of a growing congregation. As far back as 1933, we added more space to the church building itself, and there have been three different configurations of program space, each one getting successively larger with the most recent Parish Hall building expansion completed in 2000. Prior to the pandemic, we were ready for more room for program and ministry. After two years of uncertainty, we have shifted our focus to the spaces we already have, which need our attention. Critical repairs to the parish hall, including a new roof, and foundation issues were identified during the pandemic. It is time to update the interior as well, replacing worn carpeting and outdated fixtures. Finally, we recognize that we are still growing and that the 9:15 am service will quickly become over-crowded again. Renovating the Parish Hall into a Great Hall, suitable for worship, will give us room to grow in the years to come.
This campaign is the first step in addressing the challenges we face with regard to our spaces and grounds. Increased traffic meant it was more dangerous to park and walk to Christ Church. We’re so pleased that our campaign has already funded the shift of Frederica Road, allowing us to create safe parking. St. Ignatius’ parking area will be resurfaced to make it safer and able to eliminate standing water after rainstorms. Programs like Backpack Buddies don’t have adequate storage for the ministry we’re called to engage, and the revised campaign includes a plan to meet this need.
1 . Frederica Road Shift - $1,9000,000
Frederica Road will shift to the east/northeast between Stevens Rd. and the Wesley Memorial Garden. This will be accomplished through a land swap with Glynn County using land we own to the north of Frederica Road. Glynn County has received federal funding to cover 59% of the total cost of the project through a partnership with Christ Church and Fort Frederica. Christ Church is making up approximately $450,000 of the remaining cost. Shifting the road will give us the room we need to create a safe parking area, eliminating the need to park alongside or cross Frederica Road.
2. New Construction and Renovation - $3,224,746
We will create program and parish life space in Phase One through new construction in front of the existing Parish House. This space will house our Welcome Center, public restrooms, and staff offices. The space in the existing Parish House, unused after moving the offices, will be renovated, creating new space for youth and children’s programming and adult formation. Other rooms in the Parish House will be re-designated, giving each grade level a larger classroom and making additional space for adult formation and program storage. This figure also includes all the site work for construction and parking as well as new furnishings. A small part of this component includes an outdoor prayer labyrinth to the north of Frederica Road, already gifted by parishioners.
3. Parking Lot Repairs at St. Ignatius - $80,000
While much of the Master Plan’s ideas for St. Ignatius have been deferred to a later phase, the parking lot requires immediate attention. The parking area will be re-graded to address drainage issues. Additional sitework will be done as needed to keep the areas around the parking lot looking presentable.
Campaign Financial Summary
CAPITAL GIVING– Initial excitement around the campaign allowed us to raise $2.8 million towards the capital campaign. Thank you so much to our donors who made those gifts! We are seeking another $2.2 million to allow us to complete phase 1B projects, which are outlined in this field guide – an updated version of what we shared two years ago. New capital gifts will still have a five-year payment window. Existing gifts can be paid over the next five years as well, although some have already added to their original pledges with two more years to pay.
$ 1.9 Million Frederica Road Shift - COMPLETED
$ 3,224,746 Construction and Renovation
- Parish House Foundation Repairs - May Start
- Parish House Roof - Completed
- Christ Church Temporary Parking - Completed
- Labyrinth - May/June Start
- Parish House HVAC including HVAC - 2023 Start
- Christ Church Permanent Parking - Late 2022 Start
- Backpack Buddies Building - Late 2022/2023 Start
- Transform Parish Hall into Worship Space - 2023 Start
$ 105,000 St Ignatius Parking May/June Start$ 5,229,746 TOTAL
LEGACY GIVING – The purpose of the Legacy Gift component is to identify and raise money for Christ Church, Frederica’s endowment.
The Dodge Society
We are inaugurating a legacy giving program at Christ Church named the Dodge Society. The Rev. Anson Dodge shared a vision with his first wife, Ellen Dodge, and a mission with his second wife, Anna Gould Dodge. Together, their shared vision for a church and its mission has provided a lasting legacy. Building and endowing churches like ours serves as a fitting example that all of us can strive to follow.
Anson likely learned about such stewardship through the example of his great-grandfather, Anson Green Phelps. The elder Anson left a sum of money to his grandchildren so that they could, “spread the gospel, and…promote the Redeemer’s kingdom on earth,” in the hope that his descendants would receive the gift as a “sacred deposit” with which they could be “faithful stewards…devoted to the same object.” Each of us is given the same opportunity to convey our blessings to future generations for the spread of God’s kingdom.
Anyone who communicates that he or she has made a legacy gift to Christ Church will become a member of the Dodge Society. Legacy gift pledges recorded before the end of 2021 will constitute founding members of the society and will always be recognized as such. The Dodge Society will offer periodic special events for members and recognition of members in perpetuity.
- WHO INITIATED AND PLANNED THIS CAMPAIGN?
- WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN?
- WHO WILL BE ASKED TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?
- HOW LONG IS THE PLEDGE PERIOD?
- MAY I MAKE A CONTRIBUTION OTHER THAN CASH?
- HOW MUCH SHOULD I PLEDGE TO THE CAMPAIGN?
- MAY I MAKE A GIFT TO HONOR SOMEONE?
- WILL CHRIST CHURCH CONTINUE TO SOLICIT ANNUAL GIFTS TO SUPPORT THE OPERATIONS OF THE PARISH?
- WILL I BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE PAYMENTS ON MY PLEDGE ARE DUE?
Campaign Leadership Team
The Reverend Tom Purdy
Beth Smith - 2023
Ed Turner - 2023
Gay Barron - 2024
Rip Graham - 2025
Uli Keller - 2025
Holly Kolkmeyer -2025
Sarah Kreimborg - 2024
Deb Luginbuhl - 2023
Troy Meeks - 2024
Kathryn Saunders - 2025
Julianne Temple - 2024Gordon Zeese - 2023
Bonney Shuman / Treasurer
Mary Helen Moses / Secretary
Sinclair, Townes & Company