The 1841 Society

In 1841, a group of Episcopalians in Savannah banded together to establish a second parish: “St. John’s Church, in Savannah”.

In 1841, a group of Episcopalians in Savannah banded together to establish a second parish in the growing south end of the city (south of Liberty Street that is): “St. John’s Church, in Savannah”.  They met at first in the basement of Christ Church on Johnson Square but they quickly erected a temporary building at the corner of Whitaker and Jones Streets, and only twelve years later completed the present church building, consecrated in May 1853 to the service of Almighty God. It all began in 1841, with a vision and hope for the future, and a personal investment in making it happen. 

That vision and hope for the future of St. John’s is what The 1841 Society of St. John’s Church is about: a way for parishioners to encourage each other in support for this Church’s future by planned legacy giving.   


The Vestry of St. John’s Church has established the 1841 Society to celebrate and thank individuals who share the belief in the church’s mission and who demonstrate a confidence in the church’s present and future impact in the work by including St. John’s Church in their estate plans or by making deferred gifts that will come to the church at a future date.


The mission of the 1841 Society is to increase awareness of the benefits of legacy giving, both for the church and for legacy donors. In addition to ensuring that future generations will continue to have our many opportunities for worship, study and service at St. John’s, legacy gifts provide donors with a present sense of joy and fulfillment, as well as possible financial tax advantages.


The initial goal of the 1841 Society is to build the church endowment to a level sufficient to fund building and equipment maintenance annually and to contribute to the operating budget. This should allow annual stewardship giving to provide greater funding of present-day ministries and missions.


The 1841 Society membership recognizes parishioners and friends who have made a planned/deferred commitment in support of St. John’s Church. Qualifying deferred gifts include:

  • Bequests
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Retirement Plan Assets, Life Insurance and Real Estate


All members of St. John’s Church who make a planned gift, of any type or size, and who notify the Parish Office in an appropriate manner become members of the 1841 Society. Membership in this donor recognition group allows St. John’s Church to thank and recognize individuals, couples or families for the plans they have made in support of the church’s future. Benefits of membership include invitations to certain special events, recognition in specific publications and on the parish website, special updates about church planning, and an 1841 Society pin. We hope that donors will allow their names to be listed in this membership, thereby encouraging others to become 1841 Society members.

The most important benefit is the satisfaction derived from making an impactful contribution to St. John’s Church’s long-lasting future.


The 1841 Society periodically will conduct estate planning and planned giving workshops and, from time to time, host special gatherings to honor 1841 Society donors and their commitment to the future of the church.


The 1841 Society Committee is comprised of Clergy and parishioners who work together to educate our membership about the benefits of planned giving. Please feel free to contact any committee member for more information about available legacy gifting options.

    • Joseph R. Ross, Esq.
    • Charles B. Compton, Jr. (Ex Officio-Senior Warden)
    • Fr. Gavin Dunbar (Ex-Officio)
    • Richard Wright
    • Leslie Johnson
    • Dolly Chisholm
    • Robert S. Howard
    • Floyd Whittington

If you have questions or wish to become a member of the 1841 Society, please contact the church office (912) 232-1251.