John Rex laid the foundation stone of this church in 1849 built on land donated by his father, George Rex, founder of Knysna. Construction commenced in 1850 based on a plan adapted by Sophy Gray, wife of the first Anglican Bishop of South Africa. The church was to be built then as the chancel of a larger church when funds permitted, when the nave etc. in the plan would be added. Scottish stonemasons Lawrence and Bern built the church.
The church was consecrated in October 1855. In 1919 the decision was taken to build a new church to the north.