St. Anna Alexander Center for Racial Reconciliation & Healing


St. Anna Alexander 

Center for

Racial Reconciliation & Healing

St. Anna Alexander

Despite the harsh confines of Jim Crow, St. Anna founded a church and school, from which she ministered to and educated the people of Glynn and McIntosh counties for decades. Today, we are working to restore the historic schoolhouse, and to turn the Good Shepherd church and school—in the rural Pennick community, 13 miles north of Brunswick, 15 miles west of Darien—into a pilgrimage site and retreat center. Anna Ellison Butler Alexander was born in a year of great jubilation: 1865, the end of slavery in the United States. But the world she came of age in was a reactionary era of diminishing horizons, with the rise of Jim Crow across the South. Despite this adversity, Anna established a mission church at Pennick in 1894 and, in 1902, a school. For six decades, walking the dirt roads and ferrying by boat, she tirelessly and devotedly taught, led services, cared for the poor and elderly, and inspired young people with hope. In 1907 she was consecrated as a deaconess—the only Black woman to ever serve in that order—and in 1998 she was named a Saint of Georgia. In 2018 the General Convention officially recognized St. Anna’s feast day, September 24. On the weekend of September 24-26, 2021, RJGA members journeyed to Pennick and other key sites in St. Anna’s life in the inaugural St. Anna Alexander Pilgrimage.

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