Our Mission at St. Cyprian’s is to know Jesus Christ better and to honor Him as head of the Church through our worship and fellowship; and to build up the Body of Christ by increasing our membership.
In December of 1873, the Hon. Rev. James Wentworth Leigh, Dean of Hereford Cathedral in England, held services for former slaves in a small room on Major Pierce Butler’s island. The services for the freed slaves continued on Mr. Butler’s property, and twenty-two persons were confirmed by Bishop Beckwith in 1874. During 1874-75, parishioners asked Father Leigh to hold services in Darien as well, and in 1875 members of the congregation began construction of the present St. Cyprian’s church. The land was donated by Frances Kemble Butler Leigh, the wife of Father Leigh.Funds for the building came from benefactors in England and the North. The building was consecrated in 1876 and named for Cyprian of Carthage, a martyred African saint of the early church.
Father Leigh returned to England in 1877. With a notable exception, St. Cyprian’s has traditionally been served by the clergy of St. Andrew’s. However, from 1892 through 1914, St. Cyprians was under the direction of the Rev. Ferdinand M Mann, an African American priest of the church. It was during this time that St. Cyprian’s school was established for the education of African American children in Darien. The school served the community for many years, and several of the current members of St. Cyprian’s received their initial education at the school.
St. Cyprian’s is constructed of tabby according to the building methods of mid 19th Century coastal Georgia. it is believed to be one of the largest tabby structures still in use in Georgia. The building suffered extensive damaged in the hurricane of 1896 and by another storm in 1898, but in each case the building was repaired and the congregation continued to worship.
St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church Vestry
Selwynn Nelson, senior warden
Tommie Kappler, assistant senior warden
Arthur Stewart, junior warden
Arthur Stewart, treasurer
Debbi Davis, clerk