It was originally part of the thriving South Ferry textile village. During these early years, the church was a meeting place for some of the most prominent families in Narragansett. However, changes in the textile industry and transportation technology led to a decline in the village. In addition, in 1908 the Baptist congregation moved to another location a mile away.
A BEACON OF LIGHT
The Reverend Alfred C. Thomas described the South Ferry Church most beautifully when he said "The builders of the church were occupied with a conception of freedom of religion. This spirit led the community to build not only a place of worship, but a spiritual beacon light that has been seen by generations of seafaring heroes that have come up this passage."
Sadly, the church's beacon went out in the 1938 hurricane. The church was devastated, the roof gone, the steeple on the ground after the storm. It might have been left deserted had it not been for a group of concerned citizens and the South Ferry Memorial Society who successfully rebuilt it and for the next 30 years, continued to open it once a year in August for a non-denominational service.
In 1974, the title of the church was passed to the University of Rhode Island to become part of the expanded Bay Campus. In 1977, through efforts of URI, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
KEEP THE BEACON BRIGHT
Recognizing the building's priceless and irreplaceable part of the architectural historic heritage of RI, the Friend's mission is to protect the South Ferry Church from alteration or deterioration.
The church holds several events throughout the year highlighted by our August Lecture Series which features outstanding speakers covering a wide variety of subjects of national and international interest. The Lecture Series is free of charge and is open to the public.
BECOME A FRIEND
weddings, church services, christenings, and other events such as lectures, exhibits and/or meetings. The church is open all year with maximum seating in church pews of 150.
If you are interested in renting the church and receiving a usage policy, please call K.C. Bishop at 401-345-6570 or email her at Southferrychurch@aol.com