Wesley Memorial Gardens on St. Simons Island is considered by many Georgia natives to be one of the most beautiful spots in all of Georgia. Made up of all kinds of native plants and statuesque, ancient oak trees, the garden was first dedicated on June 12th, 1988 as a commemoration of the Georgia labors of Reverends John and Charles Wesley and their ministries at Fort Frederica. If you love walking through immaculate gardens, make sure a visit to the Wesley Memorial Gardens is on your list of St. Simons Island activities to take part in!
Remembering John & Charles Wesley
A beautiful monument—a large Celtic cross—sits in the center of the gardens and provides a peaceful place for reflection in a lush, green setting. John and Charles Wesley are remembered today as giants of Christian ministry. Having first arrived in Georgia in 1736, John had recently been named the priest for the Anglican parish in Savannah, and Charles was called to be the Secretary of Indian Affairs and Chaplain for General James Oglethorpe, who was the head of the newly established Georgia colony at the time.
These two men ministered to the many soldiers and settlers within the Fort Frederica settlement, and their service within the growing community became a major influence among the people. They went on to become major Christian figures within England’s religious community.
Rev. John Wesley is now remembered as the founder of the Methodist Church, and Rev. Charles Wesley is known as a writer of many cherished Christian hymns and poems, including the popular, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Their legacy has a strong presence along the Georgia coast, with many stories circulating about their personal lives and their ministries among the early communities of St. Simons.
The beautiful two-acre garden in tribute to them has been landscaped with over 4,000 azaleas, and various native bushes and shrubs in over 60 varieties, and walking through its gardens is one of the most entrancing activities in St. Simons Island. Beautiful pathways and make these gardens a lovely place to wander and walk for hours on end.