Where to Worship
in Darien

First Presbyterian Church

est. 1736

The First Presbyterian Church of Darien is considered to be the first congregation of the Presbyterian denomination to be established in Georgia. The Darien church was founded in January 1736 by Scottish Highlanders from Inverness, Scotland, only three years after the Georgia colony was established at Savannah by James Edward Oglethorpe.

The Rev. John McLeod of Scotland was the first pastor of the Darien church, which prospered during the colonial era in the formative years of the town and colony.
The Darien Presbyterian Church was re-organized in 1809 with the constitution of the present permanent church and congregation. In 1820, the church constructed a permanent edifice on the east side of the present Highway 17 near the later county jail site. The two most prominent antebellum pastors of the Darien Presbyterian Church were Nathaniel A. Pratt (1826-1840), who later was one of the founders of the town of Roswell in north Georgia, and Francis R. Goulding (1856-1862) who wrote the well-known novel “The Young Marooners” among other popular works of fiction during the period. The antebellum church structure served the congregation until 1863 when Darien was burned by Union forces during a raid on the town by troops stationed on nearby St. Simons Island. The church site was later given to the First African Baptist Church whose congregation built their present church in 1868.
A new wooden Presbyterian church was built in 1876 on the site of the present church on a plot owned by the congregation since the 1820s (Bayard Square). An accidental fire destroyed the building in 1899, although church records (dating back to 1820) and the pulpit furniture were saved. A new tabby Gothic-Victorian church edifice, the present structure, was built and consecrated to the glory of God on September 2, 1900. In 2000, the Darien congregation held special observances in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the building.

First African
Baptist Church

est. 1834

As one of the oldest functioning churches in the surrounding area, First African Baptist Church in Darien was erected in 1868, but replaces a replica of the 1834 church that once stood on the same site. Madison and Market Street.

United Methodist Church

est. 1836

The Historical Plaque by the Georgia Historical Commission reads as follows,

Methodists at Darien
John Wesley, founder of Methodism, spent January 2 & 3, 1737, among the Scots in Darien where he first prayed extempore.

In 1836 after many efforts, circuit riders aided by layman F.R. Shackelford organized a society. On November 29, 1841 the cornerstone was laid for Darien Methodist Church on Vernon Square. This church, set afire twice by Federal troops in 1863, did not burn and became rallying site for the rebuilding of Darien. Destroyed in 1881 by a hurricane. It was replace in 1883 by the present sanctuary. The Women's Society begun in 1878 and raised funds for rebuilding.

Saint Andrew's
Episcopal Church

est. 1844

The Historical Plaque by the Georgia Historical Commission reads as follows,

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church in Darien Received its charter in 1843. Under the Rt. Rev. Stephen Elliot, first Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia. The church edifice, a large wooden building with a belfry erected on a lot a short distance North of the site was completed in 1844. The Rev. Richard Brown was the first Rector.

This building was burned in 1863, when Darien was put to the torch by federal troops stationed on St. Simon's Island, and for several years after services were held in a little church on The Ridge.

In 1872, James K. Clarke, Mr. Langdon and Donald Monroe headed a movement to rebuild Saint Andrew's in Darien. Other members of the church assisted with money and with work. Plans were secured from England, and the edifice as it now stands, a copy of a little church in Britain, was built.

The church was opened in January of 1879, with the Rev. Samuel Pinkerton as Rector.

Saint Cyprian's
Episcopal Church

est. 1876

The Historical Plaque by the Georgia Historical Commission reads as follows,

Saint Cyprian's Episcopal Church in Darien was built "for the Colored People of McIntosh County" through the efforts of Rev. James Wentworth Leigh, D. D.. F. S A.. Dean of Hereford, England. It was named for the martyred African Bishop.

Contributions toward the building of the church edifice were received from England, Philadelphia, and from local citizens. Members of the Congregation led by the Senior Warden. Lewis Jackson gave devotedly of their time and labor.

Saint Cyprian's church edifice was consecrated Sunday, April 30, 1876, by the Rt. Rev. John W. Beckwith, Bishop of Georgia and placed under the guardianship of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church in Darien, of which the Rev. Robert Clute was then Rector.

Historical Churches

The preservation and history of Darien’s Historical churches are invaluable. The Burning of Darien by union troops during the Civil War on June 11th, 1863 left many of these churches in ashes. These reconstructed churches represent a faithful community who rebuilt their church despite the travesty.

Play Video

History of The First Presbyterian Church of Darien
by Buddy Sullivan

Darien Churches


First Baptist Church

Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church

Darien Church of God

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church of Redeem

Glory Worship Center

Northside Baptist Church