Wesley Memorial
The monument and stunning
garden of native plants pays
tribute to the activities of Revs.
John and Charles Wesley.
Wesley Memorial and Gardens - St. Simons Island, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Wesley Memorial and Gardens, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Wesley Memorial and Gardens, Georgia
Wesley Memorial and Gardens
The beautiful Celtic cross and native plants of the
Wesley Memorial and Gardens pay tribute to the
Georgia ministries of John and Charles Wesley.
The Wesley Brothers in Georgia
Set in a beautiful and appropriate garden of
native plants and surrounded by ancient
oaks, the Wesley Memorial on
St. Simons
Island is one of the prettiest spots in Georgia.

The garden and its centerpiece, a stunning
monument, were dedicated on June 12,
1988, to commemorate the Georgia labors of
Revs. John and Charles Wesley, in particular
their ministry at
Fort Frederica.

John and Charles Wesley as remembered
today as giants of Christian ministry, but they
were still early in their evangelical efforts
when they came to Georgia in 1736. John
had been named the priest for the Anglican
or Church of England parish at newly settled
Savannah, while Charles was the Secretary
of Indian Affairs and Chaplain for General
James Oglethorpe, who headed the new
Georgia colony.

Both men ministered to the soldiers and
settlers at Fort Frederica, a fortified town built
by Oglethorpe on St. Simons Island as a
defense against any attack on the colony by
the Spanish in Florida. The entrance to
today's Fort Frederica National Monument is
just across Frederica Road from the Wesley

In the years after their service in Georgia, the
Wesley brothers went on to become major
figures in England's Christian community.
Rev. John Newton is remembered today as
the founder of the Methodist Church, while
Rev. Charles Wesley wrote scores of beloved
Christian hymns and poems, including
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

The legacy of the Wesleys is strong on the
Georgia Coast, where many stories are told
about both their ministries and personal
lives. Perhaps the most touching memorial
to their presence, however, is the beautiful
two-acre garden on St. Simons Island.

Landscaped with more than 4,000 azales
and other native shrubs, representing more
than 60 varieties, the garden is stunning year
round (the azaleas bloom in late March and
early April). Pathways wind through the plants
and beautiful old oak trees, converging on the
memorial itself, an 18-foot Celtic cross made
of Georgia stone.

The Wesley Memorial and Gardens are open
to the public during daylight hours and there
is no charge to visit. The best way to visit is to
park at
Christ Church on Frederica Road and
enter the gardens there. The church and Fort
Frederica National Monument are also well
worth visiting and are "must sees" on any
visit to St. Simons Island.

Also of interest adjacent to the memorial and
garden is the
Christ Church Cemetery. The
oldest marked grave there dates back to
1803 and burials include Civil War soldiers
and sailors, important political leaders, noted
lumber magnate Anson Dodge and writer
Eugenia Price, who based many of her noted
novels in and around St. Simons Island. The
cemetery is adjacent to Christ Church.
Christian Giants in Georgia
The Revs. Charles and John
Wesley once preached on St.
Simons Island.
The Celtic Cross
The centerpiece of the garden
is an 18-foot Celtic cross
carved from Georgia stone.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.