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Historical Churches

The following postcards are from the Larry Bryant Collection.

The First Baptist Church
 This 1903 building is a direct descendent of the first Baptist congregation which established itself here in 1838. 
Romanesque in style, the design was influenced by famous architect H.H. Richardson’s Trinity Church in Boston.

Its members occupied several buildings prior to the construction of this sanctuary in 1903, with the building previous
to this one having been destroyed by the 1901 Fire. Although the design of the building is attributed to H.J. Klutho,

the architect admitted that "the general arrangement and outline is due to Rev. W.A. Hobson, pastor of the church,
who had his ideas drawn to scale by other parties, when [Klutho] was called in to take charge, draw and re-draw such
drawings as were necessary to erect the building, but to do it in such a way as not to exceed the amount of money 

on hand, namely $35 thousand."
1907                                                            Ada Wear         1908         J. Greenwood       1934            Earl G Maxwell       1954
New York                                                     Bartow, Florida                    Lancaster, New York                Lincoln, Nebraska




 Bethel Baptist Church
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville was established in July 1838. At the close of the Civil War, an effort was made to separate the Colored and White members 
but an agreement could not be reached over possession of the property. The opposing factions went to court and the decision was in favor of the Colored members since they were the majority. 
They retained the name of the Bethel Baptist Church and were the rightful owners of the Church Street property. From the separation, the White members established the 
Tabernacle Baptist Church, located on the corner Hogan and Church Streets, which was later named First Baptist Church (Downtown). www.jaxhistory.com
Celia Smith                           1900         Grace Haight                    1908
St. Johns , Michigan                                                 Louisville, Kentucky

First Christian Church
Located (formerly) on the corner of Monroe and Hogan Streets, just off of Hemming Park.
Interestingly, another church quite similar in appearance to the First Baptist Church was being built on the corner of Monroe and Hogan Streets.
This was the First Christian Church (now demolished) designed by South Carolina architects Walter & Legare and was completed several months 
before the First Baptist Church. The two churches faced each other across the two-block expanse of Hemming Park and the empty St. James lot. 
Both buildings were Romanesque in style and were influenced by the famous architect H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church in Boston. Both were
constructed of rough-cut monochromatic limestone with broad Romanesque arches and with square and polygonal towers of varying heights framing the facade.  www.jaxhistory.com

Harry P Jackson                          1906
Belchertown, Massachusetts

St. John's Episcopal Church

St. John's Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in JacksonvilleFlorida and became the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida in 1951.  The congregation was founded in 1834 as
St. John's Parish and is one of the seven original parishes when the Diocese of Florida was received into union with the General Convention in 1838.  According to the cornerstone for the present Cathedral,
the first St. Johns Church was built in 1842 and burned in 1862 during the Civil War. In the early 1870s, Edward T. Potter designed a new St. Johns and initial construction began in 1873. 
The church was completed and dedicated in 1877. In 1902 a new church building had to be designed by design firm Snelling and Potter when the original structure burned in the Great Fire of 1901
St. John's Cathedral was completed and consecrated in 1906.  St. John's is the only cathedral in Jacksonville.  Inside the building is cavernous; built in the Gothic Revival architectural style,
it has perfect acoustics and gorgeous stained-glass windows line the walls.  In 1983, Advent Glass Works restored and/or repaired all stained glass in the Cathedral, the Cloister and the Cummings Chapel.  Wikipedia – St. John’s Cathedral 


  D.C. Gurley                1909                                     1944
  Bainbridge, Georgia                              Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Church of the Good Shepherd
Throughout the years it has followed Jacksonville’s growth southward along the west side of the St. John’s River,
moving its little wooden chapel, originally built on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Stonewall Street, 
to the corner of Oak and Gilmore (where, in 1915, the chapel survived a fire which destroyed the new Red Brick Church),
to the current site, purchased in 1917.  Led by the Rev. Milton R. Worsham’s vision for a seven-day-a-week church 
to serve both parish and community, Good Shepherd communicants planned, built and continue to renovate the incredible
facility which today still houses the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.  Parishioner and local architect Mellon C. Greeley
and Cleveland’s W.W.C. Corbusier, an authority on Gothic architecture, were responsible for the design of the complex. 
The gymnasium, now Craig Hall, was completed in 1918; the pool, a gift from Mrs. W.W. Cummer, in 1920; the Parish Hall, 
now housing Worsham Hall, in 1921.  With its hand-carved stonework, wood carvings by Alois Lang of Oberammergau, Germany, 
floor tiles handmade at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works from wax impressions from London’s British Museum’s collection, 
and its magnificent Skinner Organ, the church opened its doors for worship on Easter Day, 1929. The stock market crash in October, 
however, delayed the Consecration until 1951.  During the 1950’s, under the guidance of the Rev. L. Valentine Lee, the Payne Studio 
designed and installed the stained glass windows. In the 1990’s the church was cleaned and had it lighting updated as part of a 3-year 
project to restore all church facilities. A special service was held October 29, 2000 to rededicate the church and it members.  

 Old American Insurance Co.   1949   
Kansas City Missouri

Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception
By 1854, Catholics in Jacksonville moved from celebrating Mass in their homes to a small wooded building on the corner of Ocean and Duval Streets.  
This was also the year that Pope Pius IX declared that the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was now an Article of Faith.  
It was fitting, therefore, that the new wooden church building in Jacksonville be named in honor of the new Marian dogma. 
In fact, William J. Hamilton, a priest from the Diocese of Savannah, was sent to Jacksonville to dedicate the church and become its spriritual leader. 
He exhibited a singular facility for ecumenism which so many of Immaculate Conception's pastors carried on through the years. 
Father Hamilton was, as an observer put it, "a man of amiable and social qualities that endeared him to all, irrespective of creed."  
Following 1857 when Florida was made a Vicariate Apostolic, "Cowford," as Jacksonville was known at that time, became part of the new Vicariate.  
The 1860s were perilous times for the nascent church and for Jacksonville as a whole. In 1863, the town was occupied by Union troops 
and they prosecuted the "war Between the States." Sadly, some intolerant members of the bivouacked troops decided that the gates of hell 
shall prevail on the "beautiful little cottage" that the Catholics were using as their church. The entire building was sacked, with Union soldiers 
marching through town wearing sacred vestments and blowing notes through organ pipes pulled from the church.  After the war, Church officials 
requested reimbursement for damages by the U.S. government, but their demands fell on deaf ears. Regardless, the parish moved forward and 
established a school in 1868 under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  Fortune shone on Immaculate Conception Parish during the next 35 years 
as men such as Father John Kenny -- later a bishop -- Father Michael Maher and Father James J. Meehan led the parish into its maturity as a 
religious cornerstone of downtown Jacksonville. Immaculate Conception was also the mother church of many of the first parishes which were 
established in the city's first suburbs. from 1881 to 1964 it operated a school that early in its history also included high school classes.  
The present church edifice was dedicated in 1910 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The former pastor, Bishop Kenny, presided at the dedication of the
church which is constructed of white Kentucky limestone.



John Scott                                    1946
Breesport, New York

The First Methodist Church

The Methodists were the pioneers in organized Church work in Jacksonville. In 1823-4, several missionaries were sent to East Florida with headquarters at St. Augustine, 
among them Rev. John Jerry. Jacksonville was on Mr. Jerry's circuit. "From St. Augustine to the Cow Ford he traveled on horseback, carrying his change of clothing, books, 
lunch, and sack of corn to feed his horse".  He began conducting his first services over John Warren's store located at Bay & Newnan Streets.
In 1824, Rev. Jerry established a Methodist Mission in Cowford and in July 29, 1824, Rev. Charles Broward, great-uncle of Napoleon Boneparte Broward
was the first to perfom a wedding in Duval County

      1908                                                       H W Johnson     1908                                     1910                           C A Crammer                     1915
                                                                    Macon, Georgia                                                 NewYork                                     Alpine , Michigan

 St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

The once populous residential area around the church has faded in recent years,

and by the late 1970's the building had fallen into disuse and disrepair.
Its congregation had moved away.  Vacant for over a decade, 

the building was one of the most perplexing challenges facing local preservationistsIronically, the Jacksonville Jaguars helped save it. 
With the coming of the NFL football team,

the city government purchased much of the land around the newly constructed Alltel Stadium,

including the Old St. Andrews site.  The Jacksonville Historical Society was given the rights

to the building if it could restore it.  Thanks to the city's cooperation and a challenge grant from

the Weaver Foundation, JHS was able to raise a million dollars to complete the restoration

of the old church to use as its headquarters.  Old St. Andrews stands proudly today as one of the finest specimens

of nineteenth-century architecture in Duval County, and it is a popular spot for meetings,

weddings and other civic events. This towering Gothic Revival church is the largest pre-1901 house of worship in Jacksonville.

When it was constructed in 1887, its architect, Robert S. Schuyler, had already established himself as an experienced 

designer of Episcopal churches.  In addition to four Carpenter Gothic chapels in Waldo, Fairbanks, Pablo Beach, 

and Lake Santa Fe, Florida, Schuyler also designed St. Peter's Church in Fernandina in 1881 (one of several National 

Register buildings designed by Schuyler in that city).  



Union Congregational Church


R G Vontobel                     1913

Harwington, Conn.

Christian Science Church 

 The former First Church of Christ, Scientist located at 101 West 1st Street (formerly 1116 North Laura Street), in Jacksonville,
Florida in the United States is an historic 1921 Classical Revival structure, which is listed as No. SP-61 by the Jacksonville 
Historic Landmarks Commission. It is a contributing property in the the Springfield Historic District.  
The first Christian Science services in Jacksonville were held in 1892 and First Church of Christ, Scientist was organized in 1897.
It met at several other locations before 1921 when it moved into this newly completed building.  After the building was sold,
the church was voluntarily dissolved August 101993.  wikipedia - First Church of Christ Scientist/Jacksonville, Florida

Clarence Hendrickson          1927
Long Island New York

 First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church dates its founding to March 2, 1840, with its charter as the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville by the Territorial Legislature of Florida. 

Obadiah Conger, a retired New England sea captain, carried the charter by horseback back to Jacksonville. It is probable that the small congregation was meeting prior to 

that date but this cannot be confirmed. In any event, the church is one of the oldest spiritual congregations in the city.  The Trustees named in the charter were Capt. 

Conger, O.M. Dorman, L.D. Miller, Stephen Eddy, and Harrison Blanchard. In 1843, the new church affiliated with the Synod of Georgia and Conger and William Bartow were 

elected and ordained as elders. The congregation hired Rev. A.B. Burke as its first pastor in 1844 but had to let him go a year later because of an inability to pay him 

(the church had only ten members in 1844). Capt. Conger conducted services for the next three years.


At first the congregation met in peoples’ homes but in 1844 Capt. Conger and some others were able to purchase the building of the First Baptist Church at the northeast

corner of Duval & Newnan Streets. They shared this building with First Methodist Church until 1847. At that time, Capt. Conger donated land at the southeast corner of

Ocean & Monroe Streets for the erection of a new church that would seat 60 people. He raised the money for its construction in the northern states and the first service 

was held on Easter morning in 1847. The old building was sold to the Methodists who occupy the site to this day.

In 1855, the building was remodeled and enlarged. Miss 

Phoebe Swart donated $100 toward this project and later gave the church a lot on Duval Street for the construction of a manse  The War Between the States disrupted the 

congregation’s ability to function as a church. Like a number of other churches in town, the Presbyterian Church was confiscated for use as a hospital by Federal troops 

after the Battle of Olustee. It did, however, survive the fires set by both northern and southern armies in Jacksonville.  After the war, the Freedman’s Bureau used the 

building briefly as a school for freed slaves. There is nothing to indicate that the church was even operating during this time. The building was returned to the church in 

1867 but by that time much had changed within both the congregation and the denomination.

In 1861, southern Presbyterian churches had separated from the Presbyterian Church 

in the USA to form the Presbyterian Church in the CSA (later in the “US”). This split was related to regional and political differences rather than divisions of a 

theological or doctrinal nature. Nationally, this division continued until 1983.  Some of Jacksonville’s members wanted to affiliate with the northern church while others 

preferred the southern branch. The congregation divided in 1867, both sides claiming the church properties. In 1873, a settlement between them gave the northern church the

building at Ocean & Monroe and the southern church took possession of the manse property on Duval St. that had been donated by Miss Swart. The southern church retained the

charter and the name the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville. After meeting in storefronts and other churches for several years, the southern church purchased property at

the corner of Newnan & Monroe, where the old Morocco Temple now stands. It became known as the Newnan Street Presbyterian Church while the northern group took the name 

Ocean Street Presbyterian Church. Both buildings faced west, just one block, one war, and thirty-three years apart.

Sutherland                      1907 
Tacoma, Washington

 Main Street Baptist Church

Back in 1905 there were a few men whose vision persuaded them to believe that before very long Jacksonville would be thickly populated
as far north as what is now known as Twenty-first Street. Among these was Dr. L. D. Geiger, of the State Mission Board, who also realized
that there would be a need for a strong Baptist work in that rapidly growing area. As a result of this thinking, the State Mission Board
invited Rev. W. L. C. Mahon to undertake the task of starting a mission work in Springfield. At that time, Rev. Mahon was traveling
about the State seeking to raise funds for the building of a Children's Home in Arcadia, Florida.  

On April 12, 1905, Rev. Mahon appeared


before the Mission Board to advise them that he had secured a lot at the corner of 8th and Main Streets and had also had a temporary


building constructed and was ready to begin services. Realizing that, in assuming the responsibility for the purchase of a lot for


$3,000.00 and the erection of a building for $632.00, a new church would be heavily encumbered, the Board voted to borrow $1,000.00 to be


used to reduce the obligation the church would have to assume. 

Thus encouraged, Rev. Mahon, and a small group of Baptists met in the temporary


building--a modest wooden structure, 36'X50', which soon became affectionalely known as "The Shack" --on Friday afternoon, April 14, 1905,


for the purpose of organizing the church for which they have been planning. . Following the reading of the usual church covenant the


organization was completed with the election of the pastor -- Rev. Mahon -- and a deacon -- Mr. Boyer -- and the adoption of the name,


"MAIN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH."  From the beginning, Main Street has been known as a singing church. Early in 1905 Mrs. C.A. Morgan offered


to "preside" at the organ, which was the "foot-pumping kind." The years since then have been filled with music that has sung effectively


the message of the gospel and sweetened immeasurably the fellowship of those who have worshipped here. 

According to the minutes of a church


conference held on December 9, 1906: "Bro. Boyer moved, Bro. Tate seconded, that Bro. Moderator, at a subsequent meeting appoint a committee,


looking toward erection of a house of worship. Put and carried." It is incredible that in so short a time the growth of the church should have


demanded such an action as this. But it did, and the planning thus initiated culminated in 1908 with the dedication of the sanctuary in which


we now worship. The Shack continued in use as a Sunday School building until 1912, when the three-story educational building to the west of the


church was erected. This building was later remodeled to extend the auditorium westward and to provide a balcony. Since then other facilities


have been added as the need arose until today the physical property of the church, consisting of an air conditioned sanctuary,


five separate educational units and a pastorium, is valued at approximately $750,000.00.



A S McDonald                       1956

San Pedro, California 


Riverside Baptist Church

The Riverside Baptist Church, at the corner of Park and King Streets.  Addison Mizner was one of the designing architects.  

The building is Spanish in design and regarded as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the South."

In the summer of 1908, a tent meeting was held at the corner of

 Park and Margaret Streets on a lot owned by the Home Mission

 Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The First Baptist

 Church of Jacksonville planned the meeting as the initial step

 in the organization of a mission church. Out of this grew the

 beginnings of Riverside Baptist Church.

At the time Riverside Baptist Church was organized, the Park and

 Margaret Street area (later to be known as Five Points) was

 strictly residential. Moving a short distance from Margaret

 Street, the church purchased property on the corner of Park and

 King Streets, the present site of the church. A frame building

 was constructed where the congregation held its first worship 

 service in August, 1913.

World-famous American architect, Addison Mizner, designed and built the Sanctuary of Riverside Baptist Church in 1924. Mizner's reputation as an architect stems from commissions he received to design and build homes in Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida, during the early 1920's. These works include the famous Everglades Club at Palm Beach, the Cloister at Boca Raton, as well as residences for the Vanderbilts, Cosdens and Singers. Though Mizner was considered to be disinterested in religious matters, he had promised to build a church in honor of his mother. That promise was fulfilled with the design of Riverside Baptist Church, the only church built by Mizner and the only project by the architect in Jacksonville. Donating his talents in memory of his mother, Mizner refused any monetary compensation for his service. www.rbcjax.com



Unitarian Church


Church of Our Savior

Edward Perkins                        1907
Watertown, Massachusetts

St. Joseph's Convent

Margaret Tinker               1907
Macon, Georgia