The current St. Augustine's Episcopal Church was originally two separate churches, Trinity Church, one of the oldest Episcopal churches in continuous use in the city of Oakland today, and St. Augustine's at 27th and West Streets. The current building was built on land donated by Rev. Dr. John Bakewell in 1892 and was consecrated on Easter Sunday 1893 as Trinity Church. The congregations merged into the Telegraph location in 1975.
Somewhat confusingly, the newer location of St. Augustine's is the older building (1893) and congregation, and the St. Augustine's name came from the newer building (1920) and congregation (1910).
525 - 29th Street, Oakland, California 94609
Dr. Bakewell went on to become the first rector of the church. John Bakewell Memorial Hall, constructed at the rear of the church on 29th Street in 1925 for recreational activities was named in Dr. Bakewell's honor. The Victorian Carpenter Gothic style building was designed by architect William H. Hamilton. Some of the construction was done by John Frank Mason, Sr.
Dr. Bakewell became rector emeritus in June, 1903, when the vestry selected Rev. Clifton Macon of Trinity Episcopal Church of San Francisco to become the new rector. 3
St. Augustine's History
Reverends Edward F. Gee and William Ford Nichols formally established St. Augustine's as the center of St. John's Parish in 1910 for African American Episcopalians who had no centralized place to worship. In 1920, under the leadership of Rev. D.R. Wallace, the cornerstone for a new building was laid at 27th and West. 5
In 1975 Trinity merged with St Augustine's Episcopal Church which is located on nearby 27th and West Streets. They combined parishes brought the name St. Augustine to the church building formerly known as Trinity. More significantly, the merger brought together two congregations that had been worlds apart racially, politically, socially and culturally. This united congregation continues its active ministry in the community today. 1
Links and References
- St. Augustine's Episcopal Church: History official website
- Negro trail blazers of California by Delilah Beasley, 1919
- St Augustine's Episcopal Church - Oakland, CA Waymarking
Bloom, Joshua and Waldo Martin, Jr. Black Against Empire. University of California Press: 2013
Vestry Chooses Rector San Francisco Call June 14, 1903
Dr. Macon Celebrates Tenth Year in Pulpit San Francisco Call August 25, 1913
Corner Stone Laying of New Mission of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church is Held Oakland Tribune August 14, 1920