On Sunday, December 9,
1894, the first service of a newly formed mission in the Diocese of New Jersey
was held in the Wilbur section of Trenton. It was conducted by a divinity
student named Henry W. Armstrong. After his ordination, the Rev. Mr. Armstrong
became one of a group of twenty different clergymen, supplied by the Diocese
until 1903, to lead this growing mission.
A lot was purchased on East State Street, at Garfield Avenue, and a newly constructed frame church was dedicated on July 30, 1896. In 1908, the Rt. Rev. John Scarborough, fourth Bishop of New Jersey, formally dedicated the mission as St. James' Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1909, the Rev. William G. Wherry became the first rector of St. James'.
In 1912, a lot on the corner of Greenwood and Logan Avenues was purchased for the rapidly expanding parish. A building, pictured left, was erected on this site and dedicated in 1913. In 1918, a rectory was built on Logan Avenue and in 1956 a parish house was added.
St. James' continued to grow, and by 1940 was second only to Trinity Cathedral in number of communicants. Its Sunday School during this period had the largest enrollment of the ten Episcopal parishes in Trenton.
As industry moved out of Trenton and city people took to the suburbs, St. James' went through a period of declining membership. By 1990, seventy-five percent of the congregation no longer lived within the "parish" and less than 5% were within walking distance. At that time it was proposed that the parish move out of the city of Trenton. Through hard work, perseverence and faith, the previous buildings were sold and the new building was erected on its present site in Yardville. These buildings were joyfully dedicated in October of 1995.