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. 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.
The last of the Darien, Georgia churches is St. Cyprian’s Episcopal. It was another church founded by former slaves, this time in the coastal area of southern Georgia. It’s also fairly unique in that it was largely built of tabby (see Woodbine Episcopal) when completed in 1876. It’s affiliated with Darien’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal.
I was planning on adding Notre Dame to the blog this week, and then the sad events of this afternoon occurred. Notre Dame (“Our Lady) is in the center of Paris, France and is nearly 900 years old. When I was in the city, I took a few hundred photos from as many areas as I could and left without a doubt of why it’s one of the most visited churches in the world. Despite the destruction from today’s fire, the church fared better than I would have expected and hopefully will be restored over time. The Roman Catholic Cathedral has survived destructive events in the past, including desecration by atheists during the French Revolution and World Wars, so there’s reason to be optimistic. There’s also a lot of history about this church online, so I’ll just add a couple more links if you want to read more.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church was founded as a mission church for former slaves following the Civil War. The church is in a wooded area not far from the small town of Eastover, South Carolina. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the history of the church explains that black membership in the Episcopal church fell significantly after the Civil War. A wealthy local planter was appointed to try and maintain that membership in the area and so built a chapel (Saul Chapel) on his plantation. Soon after, a Sunday School was started for the local black children. The chapel burned down in 1891 and was rebuilt as St. Thomas in 1893. The church is still in use today and there is a cemetery on the grounds with what looked like mostly recent graves.
St. George Episcopal Church is on Fort George Island, just north of Jacksonville, Florida. The Carpenter-gothic building was finished in 1882 as the Episcopal church was expanding missions in the southeast. A good summary of the history of this particular church is on the church’s website here.
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.