Evergreen Congregational

Evergreen United Church of Christ, Evergreen, Georgia, Thomas County
Evergreen United Church of Christ, Evergreen, Georgia, Grady County.

Evergreen Congregational Church and School are in Grady County located in southern Georgia.  It was originally organized in 1903, demolished in 1925, and rebuilt in 1928 along with a one-classroom school (1911).  The church is listed on the National Register due to the historic nature and importance in the rural African-American community in this region of the state.  A former mayor of Atlanta (Andrew Young) was also pastor here for a few years.  A thorough history of the church is listed on the National Park Service website at this link.

Glass Window, Evergreen United Church of Christ, Evergreen, Georgia
Glass Window, Evergreen United Church of Christ, Evergreen, Georgia
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Friendship Baptist

Friendship Baptist Church, Thomas County, Georgia
Friendship Baptist Church, Thomas County, Georgia

Located in Metcalfe, Georgia, Friendship Baptist was built around 1889.  It was added when the town began prospering with railroad traffic.  Within about 20 years,  growth slowed and agriculture continued to be a primary driver for the town.  The church is still active today.

Mt. Olive Baptist

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Nassau County, Florida
Mount Olive Baptist Church, Nassau County, Florida

Mount Olive Baptist Church is on State Road 107 near Yulee, in northeastern Florida.  Now included on the National Register of Historic Places, the small church was built in 1920.  It was the second building for a congregation started by an African-Seminole named Moses Hupue around 1870.  The early services were a blend of Indian and African traditions but later the Christian practices were adopted more consistently.  The first church was destroyed by either a fire or a storm and later, the current vernacular structure was completed.  Electricity was added in the 1960’s, but by the 1970’s, the church struggled to survive.  Eventually it ended its run as a church and now serves mostly for community meetings.

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Nassau County, Florida
Mount Olive Baptist Church

The Tourist Church

seabreeze-united-church
Seabreeze United Church of Christ, Daytona Beach, Florida

Known as the Tourist Church, Seabreeze United Church of Christ is in Daytona Beach, Florida and was built in 1929.  It’s a Mission Revival architectural style made of stone and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.  This church replaced a smaller wooden church built in 1905 as the First Congregational Church of Seabreeze (the original name) grew.  Many of the attendees were winter tourists visiting Florida which led to the name most still use today.  In 1964 it became affiliated with the UCC and changed its name.

St. Benedict the Moor

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, St. Augustine, Florida
St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, St. Augustine, Florida

St. Benedict the Moor is a mission Catholic Church in St. Augustine, Florida.  The Heritage sign in front of the 1911 church reads:

This block of property owned by the Catholic Church contains three historic buildings that embody an important part of African American heritage of St. Augustine.  It was part of “Yallaha” orange grove plantation before the Civil War and was conveyed to the church by the Dumas family in 1890.  The first building constructed in 1898 was the school, originally called St. Cecilia, later St. Benedict.  It is the oldest surviving brick schoolhouse in St. Augustine.  With a tower and original wraparound porch, it was a landmark of Victorian architecture.  It was the gift of Mother Katharine Drexel (1858-1955), a wealthy Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People and established more than 60 parochial schools around the country.  On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II named Mother Drexel a saint, and two St. Augustinians attended the canonization ceremony at the Vatican.  The Sisters of St. Joseph, a teaching order that was brought here in 1866, operated St. Benedict School.  They were involved in a celebrated civil rights case when, on Easter Sunday 1916, three of the nuns-sisters were arrested for violating a 1913 passed Florida law that made it a criminal offense for whites to teach in a black school.  They were released when a judge ruled the law did not apply to private schools.  After serving many generations of students (of several religions) from kindergarten through eighth grade, St. Benedict School was closed in 1964 when local Catholic schools were integrated.  St. Benedict the Moor Church, on the north end of the property was begun in 1909 and completed in 1911.  The church was named for a Sicilian friar (1526-1589) who was known as “The Holy Negro” for his charitable work and canonized in 1807.  The red brick rectory building was constructed in 1915, and for many years housed the Josephite Fathers out of Baltimore who pastored here.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the rectory in 1964.”

Old St. Paul’s

Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church (San Marco Preservation Hall), Jacksonville, Florida
Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (San Marco Preservation Hall), Jacksonville, Florida

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was located a few miles away when it was built in 1888 in Jacksonville, Florida.  In 1977, it was donated to a city museum and moved by river barge to its current Fletcher Park location in the San Marco area of the city.  The interior features dark pine beaded board and the building was last renovated in 1994.  It’s now used regularly for weddings and other events.