Mount Zion A.M.E. Church is a Romanesque style building in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. It was built in 1905 and features the original pipe organ and elaborate stained glass. It’s included on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Basilica of The Immaculate Conception is a Late Victorian Gothic church in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The first church was built of wood and dedicated in the mid 1800’s. In 1901, the church was one of over 2300 buildings destroyed by the city’s “Great Fire”, though the large statue of Virgin Mary remained in place.
Today’s Basilica was built in 1910 primarily of Kentucky limestone. Stained glass windows imported from Germany also highlighted the new building, which was the tallest in Jacksonville at the time. A more detailed history is included on the church’s website. It’s also included on the National Register of Historic Places.
I’m still trying to add the last of the Georgia churches I’ve photographed so far for the project, so I’ll include several miscellaneous sites here.
New Ogeechee Missionary Baptist Church is a historic rural church on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia. Listed now on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built in 1893 for the African-American population of the area. Although the congregation’s numbers are relatively small today, it’s still an active church. It’s located not far from another historic church included previously (St. Bartholomew Episcopal).
Located on the edge of Savannah’s downtown historic district, Greater St. James Temple, A.M.E. church has an interesting style.
Another Savannah church on the National Register, Nicholsonville Baptist dates from 1890. The original members of the church were former slaves from a plantation on St. Catherines Island in Liberty County. There’s a slightly older church on the property (below), but it is in a more deteriorated condition.
Asbury African Methodist Episcopal Church is in rural Screven County and another that I stopped quickly as I passed through the area. There’s a placard on the right side of the church that dates the congregation to 1910.
I was in Omaha, Georgia just before the state line with Alabama and visited a few churches in the small town. The Baptist and Methodist churches were included previously, but this one on 5th Avenue had no name.
Immanuel House of Prayer is in Darien, Georgia. Originally it was known as Grace Baptist Church and is from the early 20th century (circa 1915).
More Georgia churches to add, but this time with more elaborate brick buildings than the normal wood structures. Considered a Victorian Romanesque style, Sacred Heart Catholic Church is in Augusta, Georgia. With twin spires, extensive detail, and even stained glass windows imported from Munich, Germany, the building is one of the most interesting in the city. The Parish dates from 1874 and they built this church in 1898.
Organized in 1887, Cordele’s First UMC first built a church in 1891. They quickly outgrew the initial building and built this brick structure in 1914.
The Greek population in Augusta, Georgia organized a church in 1911 and built this brick building in 1921. It’s considered the oldest Greek Orthodox church in the southeast.
The cornerstone of First Baptist Church in Elberton, Georgia was laid in 1897. The church organized in 1860 and has had several significant additions over the years as the church has continued to expand.
Built in 1913, Woodville Baptist has some Gothic Revival elements and is located in a railroad community in Greene County. There’s also a cemetery in the rear of the church. The church is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
When driving through much of Georgia, you’ll regularly find semi-isolated churches. Although most are difficult to uncover much of their history, I added a few of them here, including Cooper Baptist Church at the edge of Twin City, Georgia.
Black Creek Baptist Church is in Screven County, Georgia and was established in 1912 according to a sign near the front entrance. There’s a cemetery behind the church with about 100 graves.
This little church in Screven Couunty didn’t even have a sign with its name out front.
McCanaan Missionary Baptist Church is near Sardis, Gerogia and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The church served the black sharecroppers that remained in the area after slavery was ended. The church was built in 1912 (replacing two earlier churches built in 1875 and the 1890s) and has some Gothic Revival features. There were some modifications to the exterior in the more recent decades, including the addition of a flat-roof porch. A cemetery was established in the 1930s.
Another small church, Mt. Sinai Holiness is just east of Oliver, Georgia. It was established pretty recently, but it had an authentic look and this brightly painted sign nailed to nearby pine tree, so I stopped for some photos.
Kershaw, South Carolina was one of the wealthiest towns in the state in the mid 1800’s. It was originally a gathering place for the farmers in the area but was largely destroyed towards the end of the Civil War. Another rebuilding phase occurred in the early 1900’s and included a pair of churches shown here. I passed through last Sunday afternoon and was invited inside both churches so I was able to get a shot of the interiors.
Unity Baptist Church was organized in 1909 and is on East Sumter Street. The Gothic Revival church building was completed a year later and was the second black church in town. The interior of the church has many original features including the coved ceiling. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Interior, Unity Baptist Church
Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kershaw South Carolina
The oldest African-American congregation in town is Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion. The church was named for a former slave who was an A.M.E. minister. The church below was built in 1909. Included as part of the Lancaster County entry, it’s also on the National Register.
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.