First Missionary Baptist Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach is a small coastal town in the northeast corner of Florida. The area was founded by the Spanish as a military outpost and a mission not long after they established St. Augustine to the south. The small center of town has several old churches including the three shown here. First Missionary Baptist Church (above) was organized in 1860 and later built a gothic-style church in 1874. It’s the oldest Black Missionary Baptist church still in service in the state. The church was last renovated in 2007.
Trinity Church has history back to 1822 when a missionary came to Amelia Island to establish a congregation. Their first church was eventually built in 1869 and was replaced by this masonry brick building in 1891.
First Presbyterian Church is a simple frame building with a small entrance porch. It’s the oldest church standing in town, built in 1859.
When I typically drove through Waldo, Florida, its main claim to fame was notoriety as a Florida speed trap for drivers on Highway 301 through the center of the state. That practice recently ended with a law change and the eventual elimination of the small police force in town. I did pull over when passing through town for a better reason, to take a few photos of the First United Methodist Church, built in 1910. It’s part of the town’s National Register of Historic Places entry. The town peaked in the late 1800s as a railroad town and has been fairly stagnant since World War II. The church above was no longer in use at the time of the photo.
I’ve stopped by a few churches in Jacksonville, Florida which I don’t have much information so I’ll bundle them together here. Most are African American churches built in a similar architectural style in the downtown area. The church above on Van Buren Street was built in 1914 and seems to be known as Little Rock Baptist Church, though the sign in front of the church shows “Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church”.
St. Matthews Methodist Episcopal Church founded their church in 1871 and this building above was completed in 1903. The interior of the brick building was remodeled in 1945 and today is known as Greater Hill’s Temple in honor of a Bishop of their church.
Triumph Church on Franklin Street seems to have been built circa 1902.
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in in the Brooklyn section of town and has been abandoned since 1999. It was built by a local architect James Hutchins in 1955, but has a similar style of the earlier churches above.
This tiny church is on Phillips Highway a few miles from downtown. It had an interesting look so I took a photo, but I have nothing indicating its age.