The parish of Saint George's Church was founded in 1704 and supported by wealthy farmers throughout the surrounding countryside. Members of this church in its early days included names still echoed throughout Long Island: the Conklins, the Carmans, the Hewletts, and the Seamans. In the mid-19th century, Josiah Martin's Rock Hall, a mansion from the palatial Georgian period, was turned into the posh museum in Town of Hempstead. Thomas Jones was the Ulster mariner with a piratical past, who was able to flourish in the whaling industry on a small sandspit nearby that would eventually become known as Jones Beach.
During the early 1700s, overseas Christian missionaries from the Church of England travelled to many outposts of the then flourishing Empire in an attempt to spread the faith of Christ to the distant far reaches.
Hempstead is one of those places.
The Saint George's Church was formed and was named after the country’s sovereign, George I. There, in the midst of the colonial settlement which stretched across Long Island’s flatlands, a church was built.
A place to worship wasn't enough for these men.
According to Charles Egleston, historian of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, they were landed gentry. It is clear that these people were determined to establish a new church of their own, along the lines of what was happening in England, when it was referred to as the church of the elite. A number of the most elite colonial Long Islanders chose to attend the new church. Some of them even brought their slaves with them.
In January 2018, it's a Saturday night at St. George's Church, and many members of its modern event hall are gathering to honor Jared Gordon, 18, of Westbury, a member of the church's church-sponsored troop 300, who just earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
There are three structures at Saint George's Church, today which is composed of the church itself, the third one being a building built in 1822 and the second being the chapel. The rectory across Front Street has been in existence since 1793. The modern parish hall is adjacent to the church. The court of honor ceremony for Gordon is being attended by around 100 people. In addition to Gordon and his troop, most of the employees of the organization are African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans.
The descendants of these slaves (many of whom are buried in the church's graveyard) are descendants of slaves in the British West Indies, as well as other slaves in the Americas. The Saint George's Church's driving force now is now these members. The members are well aware of the irony. St. George’s Church member Beverly James, of Uniondale, remembers a visiting bishop who addressed the church’s mostly black congregation in 1984.
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