older St. Augustine's and newer (formerly Trinity)

The current St. Augustine's Episcopal Church was originally two separate churches, Trinity Church, one of the oldest Episcopal churches in continuous use in the city of Oakland today, and St. Augustine's at 27th and West Streets. The current building was built on land donated by Rev. Dr. John Bakewell in 1892 and was consecrated on Easter Sunday 1893 as Trinity Church. The congregations merged into the Telegraph location in 1975.

Somewhat confusingly, the newer location of St. Augustine's is the older building (1893) and congregation, and the St. Augustine's name came from the newer building (1920) and congregation (1910).


525 - 29th Street, Oakland, California 94609



Trinity History

Dr. Bakewell went on to become the first rector of the church. John Bakewell Memorial Hall, constructed at the rear of the church on 29th Street in 1925 for recreational activities was named in Dr. Bakewell's honor. The Victorian Carpenter Gothic style building was designed by architect William H. Hamilton. Some of the construction was done by John Frank Mason, Sr.

Dr. Bakewell became rector emeritus in June, 1903, when the vestry selected Rev. Clifton Macon of Trinity Episcopal Church of San Francisco to become the new rector. 3

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church/Trinity Episcopal Church, Oakland, California (photo courtesy greenkozi)

St. Augustine's History

Reverends Edward F. Gee and William Ford Nichols formally established St. Augustine's as the center of St. John's Parish in 1910 for African American Episcopalians who had no centralized place to worship. In 1920, under the leadership of Rev. D.R. Wallace, the cornerstone for a new building was laid at 27th and West. 5

In 1969, under Rev. Earl Neil, St. Augustine's served as the host to the Black Panther Party's first Free Breakfast for Children Program, organized by Ruth Beckford. 2

1920 5original St. Augustine's, 27th and West
CC SA-BY Our Oakland
1951 Sanborn excerpt


In 1975 Trinity merged with St Augustine's Episcopal Church which is located on nearby 27th and West Streets. They combined parishes brought the name St. Augustine to the church building formerly known as Trinity. More significantly, the merger brought together two congregations that had been worlds apart racially, politically, socially and culturally. This united congregation continues its active ministry in the community today. 1

On December 4, 1979 St. Augustine's/Old Trinity Church was designated Oakland Landmark #29, under Zoning Case #LM 79-401, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today the original St. Augustine's building is the home of St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church.

Links and References

  1. St Augustine's Episcopal Church - Oakland, CA Waymarking
  2. Bloom, Joshua and Waldo Martin, Jr. Black Against Empire. University of California Press: 2013

  3. Vestry Chooses Rector San Francisco Call June 14, 1903

  4. Dr. Macon Celebrates Tenth Year in Pulpit San Francisco Call August 25, 1913

  5. Corner Stone Laying of New Mission of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church is Held Oakland Tribune August 14, 1920

Additional Photos

church interior
CC SA-BYOur Oakland
CC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our OaklandLincrusta details
CC SA-BY Our Oakland
CC SA-BY Our Oakland