Saint Philip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church, the “Mother Church of African Methodism in Georgia,” formerly located at 560 West Hull Street, Savannah, Georgia had its beginning June 16, 1865 as Saint Philip African Methodist Episcopal Church under the leadership of Rev. A. L. Stanford, who was assigned to Savannah from the original South Carolina Conference. Elder Henry McNeal Turner was the first Presiding Elder or Superintendent of the state at that time and pastored Saint Philip Monumental from 1870-1874.
The storm of 1896 destroyed the old building and scattered the congregation. The minority of the members chose to remain at the old site and the Georgia Annual Conference on December 15, 1897, in Waycross, Georgia, renamed it the Saint Philip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church. During this period the church was making a definite contribution to the civic, economic, political and social life of the community. St. Philip Monumental has been blessed to have 40 pastors over the years, from Rev. A. L. Stanford to our present pastor, Pastor Bernard Clarke.
All of the ministers who have pastored Monumental have made notable contributions to the life of the church and community. As examples of such contributions, Rev. B. S. Hannah (1920-1924) was instrumental in building a parsonage equipped with gas radiators. Rev. D. W. Stephens (1935-1939) directed the laying of the second group of historical tablets.
During Rev. C. W. Davis’ administration (1940-1948) the membership doubled, the church debts were liquidated; the physical plant was improved and many new organizations were formed and some are still in existence, such as the Davis Choral Club. He was the first pastor to have 500 members in the Sunday School on Sunday Mornings. Rev. Davis exposed the congregation to many noted African Americans, such as the late Mary McCloud Bethune.
Rev. W. L. Brown (1951-1958) reorganized the Junior Church and the Progressive Choir. He improved the parsonage and made extensive improvements throughout the church plant and he also laid the groundwork for the site where we now occupy.
Rev. Frederick D. Jaudon (1958-1972) a social activist, affectionately known as “"The Walking Preacher”" was appointed pastor of Monumental on August 19, 1958. On May 7, 1961 the congregation marched from Hull Street to its present site on Park Avenue and Jefferson Street. Rev. Jaudon, Presiding Elder J. P. Lampkin and Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District, Bishop W. R. Wilkes, led the procession. Monumental was a community church always opening its doors for religious, as well as civic activities.
The following ministers pastored Monumental and were instrumental in the growth and development of the church we see today.
Reverends: Frank C. Maddox (1973-1977) initiated the Bus Ministry; C. E. Wells (1977-1979) a historical marker was erected designating that St. Philip Monumental A.M.E. Church was listed in the United States Historical Registry. Charles W. Pitts (1980-1988) instrumental in having West Hull Street, where Monumental once stood, renamed “Henry McNeal Turner Boulevard.” Peola W. Scott (1988-1988) a daughter of Monumental served as Pastor after Rev. Pitts was reassigned. Thomas L. Bess (1988-1990) initiated 8:00 Worship and tithing was strongly emphasized. The insurance coverage was amended to exceed “One Million Dollars”; James E. Taylor (1991-1997) restored the steeple following lightning fire and installation of lightning protection throughout the church plant. The education building was renamed the F. D. Jaudon Education Building;
The Rev. Dr. Lewis E. Logan, II (1997-2001) was installed as the 38th pastor of Monumental. Under the energetic and God-fearing leadership of Rev. Logan, the membership grew virtually by leaps and bounds. Pastor Logan realigned the church so that it would be of more service to the community. The first Strategic/Visioning and Planning Session was held. From this session several ministries, to numerous to include, were initiated. The second floor of the educational building was renovated; the Worship Services were changed to include Hour of Power Noon Day Services on Wednesday, several revivals, 6:45 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Communion Vespers Service on First Sunday, installation of Marquee and a new Church Directory compiled were among his many accomplishments.
Walter E. Daniels (2001-2004) renovated Pastor’s Study and the entire church plant, Children’s Church, Male Chorus were organized.
On June 11, 2004 Rev. Dr. George A. Moore, Jr. was appointed as the 40th Pastor of St. Philip Monumental. Ministries initiated under Pastor Moore are as follows: T.G.I.F., Congregational Care Ministry, Auxiliary Steward and Trustee Boards. Since Pastor Moore’s pastorate Monumental has purchased a new parsonage, debt has been liquidated and Sunday School attendance has increased.
On Friday, April 1, 2016 Rev Dr. Bernard Clarke was appointed as the 41st Pastor of St. Philip Monumental. Pastor Clarke along with our First Family are excited about Church Growth, Christian Education, Fiscal Accountability and Social Action.
St. Philip Monumental A.M.E. Church thrives and prospers as it carries on its legacy and the doctrine of the African Methodist Episcopal Church motto, “God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Humankind our Friend.”