In 1798 the Methodist Church was incorporated in Augusta and known as the "Augusta Station." St. John Methodist Episcopal Church was the mother church formed out of this movement and St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was created in 1854 as an outgrowth of St. John. St. John secured the lot for the new church in 1855 and by 1856, a two-story brick building was completed at a cost of $9,661. St. James was named in honor of Reverend James E. Evans, its founder. In 1886, the church building was enlarged, a belfry erected, and the fa?ade improved.
The white marble monument across the street was erected by a St. James Sunday School class in memory of those who had lost their lives in the Civil War. 24 church members' and 261 other Augustans' names are inscribed on the monument. The cenotaph was unveiled on December 31, 1873.
The building adjacent to the church was built in 1916 as the parsonage. It was renamed the "Ministry Building" in 1981.
President Eisenhower worshipped here on January 3, 1954.
Emma S. Lester, an early missionary to China wrote in the history of the church this statement: "May St. James shine as a beacon light for centuries to come, and when the summons come that time shall be no more, may the beams from her light ever to the portals of heaven."