In Waveland, Mississippi, sitting on 60 acreas facing the Gulf of Mexico, there is a special place called Gulfside Assembly. It was founded in 1923 by Robert E. Jones, the first Black Methodist Bishop, who raised much of the money for it by asking people to save their pennies.
Built in the early years,
Jones Hall was a primary
gathering place on the
grounds of Gulfside
Assembly.It was named
in honor of Gulfside's
founder, Bishop Elijah
It was the only place African-Americans and their friends could meet for spiritual, educational, and recreational activities in that era. Gulfside served the entire Black Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church until the merger of Black Churches into their regional geographical areas during the late sixties.
Gulfside enjoyed a glorious heritage and also suffered its share of difficulties. It is recognized by The United Methodosit Church and the State of Mississippi as a Historical Site.
Since there were no public schools for Blacks during that time, Gulfside provided a boarding school for boys from rural areas, a day school for children from the community and a theological training center for Blacks from the surrounding states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and all over the segregated South. Many prominent United Methodist leaders trace their spiritual roots back to Gulfside.
The grounds after
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrian destroyed all of the Gulfside facilities. The Board of Trustees and supporters of Gulfside face the future with optimism as we value the heritage of Gulfside and create a legacy for future generations.