St. Ann’s History

The parishioners of St. Ann’s continue the worship and tradition begun by the original members of St. Ann’s more than 230 years ago. It happened as follows:

Beginnings at Washington Street

At the time of the American Revolution, a group of Anglican-minded neighbors in the Village of Brooklyn sought services of their own rather than attend the Dutch Reformed church. They first met in the living room of Joshua and Ann Sands on Sunday, April 5, 1778. The congregation moved to larger quarters in John Middagh’s barn in 1784 and formally organized as the Episcopal Church of Brooklyn in 1787. In 1795, the parish obtained its own building at Washington Street in what is now DUMBO and reorganized as St. Ann’s Church, named for its benefactor Ann Sands.

Church at Clinton and Livingston Streets

In 1869, when the plans for the Brooklyn Bridge called for use of the church’s property and burial ground, the church moved to Clinton and Livingston Streets. It allotted its burial plots in Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and Evergreen Cemetery in Queens. (Some plots remain available today.)

Move to the Holy Trinity Building

In 1969, St. Ann’s sold its building to the Packer Collegiate Institute next door and moved into the Holy Trinity building, which had been vacant for more than a decade after the dissolution of that parish. St. Ann’s therefore continues to be the oldest Episcopal congregation in Brooklyn, but the church is called St. Ann & the Holy Trinity to honor the history of the building.