top of page


St. Simon's Mission

St. Simon’s Mission for African-Americans existed between 1896-1964. St. Simon’s was built for black congregants. Although St. Thomas’ Parish had been ministering to members of the black community for generations, the construction of St. Simon’s allowed for separate educational and social events among the black community. Having a place like this attracted a larger black congregation. By 1896, the church school at St. Simon’s was flourishing, a success that led to the establishment of the Croom Industrial and Agricultural Institute.  The purpose of the institute was to prepare “young colored men and women” for employment by providing scientific agriculture and household skills. 

The Vicar's of St. Simon's Misson

Bagnall 1925.jpeg

1904- 1905

Graduate of Bishop Payne Divinity School and accepted the call from Bishop Satterlee to become the vicar of St. Simon’s.   After leaving St. Simon's, Bagnall continued his spiritual journey and became the Director of Branches of the NAACP in Delaware.



A native of  Barbados W.I., and uncle to the Blessed Pauli Murray was vicar. to St. Simon's  He was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.  Rev. Small assumed oversight of not only  St. Simon’s, but St. Philip’s of Aquasco and St. Mary’s of Charlotte Hall as well.



Resigned from Good Shepard in Montgomery Alabama and accepted the call as “minister in charge” of St. Simon’s. Rev. Brooks suffered tremendous tragedy losing his son Edward and then three months later his wife Eliza.  Both his son and wife are buried at the historic St Simon's Cemetery.



Deacon James Alvin Mayo was appointed Vicar in 1932 and ordained as a priest at the age of 24 in 1933.  Shortly after, he left St. Simon's to become the Vicar of St. Monica’s in Washington DC in 1933.



A native of New Orleans is called to be the vicar in 1910.  He was a graduate of Howard University and King Hall Theological Seminary.   After his work at St. Simon’s, Bishop Satterlee, authorized Bennett to start his own church, Calgary Episcopal Church in DC. 

the shirleys.jpg


A native from Jamaica W.I. and a graduate of Howard University Divinity School was the last vicar appointed to St. Simon’s.  Fr. Edwin Shirley pictured here with his sons Calvin H. Shirley (L), Maurice Shirley, Donald Shirley, and Edwin Shirley II.   Dr. Charles Shirley became one of the first black doctors in FL and his other son, Donald became an accomplished pianist and was featured in the recent movie, The Greenbook.

Robert Wellington Bagnall

John Randolph Brooks

Franklin Isaac Abraham Bennett

John Ethophilus Gratin Small

James Alvin Mayo

Edwin Samuel Shirley

Photo Gallery

bottom of page