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’.