Southeastern Jurisdiction
Friday, January 21, 2022
Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world

Gulfside Historic Past


In Waveland, Mississippi, sitting on 60 acres 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

In that era, Gulfside was the only place African-Americans and their friends could meet for spiritual, educational, and recreational activities. Gulfside served the entire Black Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church until the merger of Black Churches into their regional geographical areas during the late 1960s.

Gulfside enjoyed a glorious heritage and also suffered its share of difficulties. It is recognized by The United Methodist 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 to Gulfside.

 In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina 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.



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