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St. Francis of the Islands Episcopal Church
590 Walthour Road
Savannah, Georgia 31410
St. Francis of the Islands is an Episcopal Church located outside of Savannah, Georgia on Wilmington Island. We are a small parish with a big and welcoming heart. Our mission at St. Francis is to come together as Christians to worship Christ in a peaceful loving manner. We welcome all that want to join us and we pray that you do.
St. Francis was recognized as an organized mission of the Diocese of Georgia in October of 1974. The first services were held in the Talahi Island Community Center but were later moved to May Howard Elementary School to provide more space for the rapidly growing congregation. In 1975, Mrs. Constansia S. Lynes donated three and a half acres on Walthour Road to be used as an Episcopal Church. The Parish Hall and Education building were constructed in 1977. The first service at this location took place in the Parish Hall on the first Sunday of Advent in 1977. The Diocese of Georgia received St. Francis into the union as a parish on February 11, 1983. In 1980 our memorial garden was created. The Rev. Paul Z. Hoornstra was the first rector of St. Francis of the Islands and stayed until his retirement in 1983.
The Rev. David E. Heil became the second rector in August 1983. During his service the parish embarked on a major building program resulting in the construction of our Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was completed in the summer of 1985. The Rev. Randall Keeney served as interim priest after Father Heil's retirement in 1989. The Very Rev. Peter L. Ingeman accepted the call to St. Francis in September of 1989.
In August of 1999 St. Francis celebrated 25 years of ministry for Christ. Upon Father Ingeman's departure, the Reverend Gammon Jarrell served as interim rector until the parish called the Reverend Jim Shumard, who served the parish as rector from 2001 until 2009.
In August of 2009, the Reverend Konrad White came to serve as our interim rector until July of 2011. Father White now acts as assisting priest.
February 1, 2012, the Reverend Stephen A. Norris was called by Christ to serve as our priest-in-charge. In the summer of 2012 members came together and built a new playground for our youth to enjoy. This was possible due to generous donations of love, labor, and offerings. We hope the new playground will increase our youth activity and attract young families to our church. September of 2012 brought us Deacon Cathy Henderson. Deacon Henderson was ordained in June of 2012 and began serving as our deacon in September, 2012.
We have two services every Sunday; one at 8am and one at 10:15am. Please see the worship page for more details. Occasionally we merge the two services so that members of our family can unite and worship together. We will post this change on the website, our Facebook page, and Twitter.