The church was designed by Thomas A. Tefft and built in 1850. South Ferry was a thriving textile village in the mid-nineteenth century, but by 1908 the Baptist congregation moved to a building one-mile away. The South Ferry Memorial Society acquired and maintained the building for the next 65 years. The building was extensively repaired after suffering damage during the Hurricane of 1938. In 1974 the University of Rhode Island received title to the property, and the building is currently maintained by a private non-profit, Friends of the South Ferry Church. The church building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.