Grace Church 175th Anniversary

By: kjcynar

10/18/19 03:27 PM
Category: General

Our Founding

The Founding of Grace Church

In the 175 year old Grace Church minute book, we read that a group of people met on August 12, 1844 to organize and build an Episcopal Church.  Eight days later, at a second gathering: Thomas Lawrence was called to the chair, Henry Hone was appointed secretary, Elbert Floyd-Jones was elected Collector of Funds for the new church and James Meinell was made Treasurer of the "subscription monies."

General Thomas Floyd-Jones donated the land. To this day, the legal title of this parish reads as follows: "The Rector, Churchwardens and Vestrymen of Grace Church, South Oysterbay."

In September of 1844 plans were approved to erect the first church building.  It was only 24 feet wide, 36 feet long, 16 feet ceilings and a brick foundation. The first annual meeting was held on March 25, 1845; the annual meetings for over 100 years being held the Tuesday after Easter.

The first Rector to be "called" was William A. Curtis at a salary of $300.00 a year. Grace Church was closed from Christmas to Easter of each year, as the handful of people who attended services went to New York or elsewhere during that time. 


On July 9, 1846 the church was first used for services, but, due to illness of the Bishop of New York (we were part of Queens County in those days and also part of the Diocese of New York) the building was not consecrated until April 13, 1847. The clergy from Jamaica, Hempstead, Islip, Patchogue and Huntington were present.