Just at the start of the High Road to Taos (driving from Albuquerque) is El Sagrado Carazon, a New Mexico Catholic church founded as a mission in the early 17th-century. The church was initially destroyed during a revolt in 1680 but has been rebuilt (and destroyed) multiple times. It was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s, but was rebuilt in 1910 and then once more in 1947 in an adobe style with twin buttresses.
Fort Ogden, Florida is a small community in south-central Florida. A historical marker had this to say about its early days-
“As white settlers moved into Florida, demands increased for the removal of the Seminole Indians to a western reservation. The Seminoles failed to cooperate, and in 1835 the conflict known as the Second Seminole Indian War began. By 1841, the Indians were still entrenched in central and south Florida. Campaign plans for that year aimed at clearing Indians from the area between the Withlacoochee River and the frontier and the attacking Indian bands in Big Cypress Swamp. To sustain the wide-ranging troops, detached camps were established at various points. Camp Ogden, named for Captain Edmund Ogden of the 8th US Infantry, seems to have been established in July 1841, as an advanced position for the Big Cypress campaign. In addition, 55 canoes were constructed for the next winter’s Everglades expedition. Before the Camp was abandoned in the fall, an influential Indian leader, Coacoochee, visited Camp Ogden. The community of Fort Ogden developed in this citrus and cattle region in the last part of the 19th century and took its name from the Second Seminole War camp.”
This Methodist Church pictured here sits across from a small pasture of cows. I spotted it on my drive south during an Everglades trip, though I haven’t found more information on its history so far.
In downtown Pensacola, Florida there are several historic churches. Pensacola was founded a few years before St. Augustine, but was destroyed by a hurricane soon after and it took nearly a century before it was reestablished. St. Michael’s Catholic Church has a personal connection in that my parents were married there. The Parish was established in 1781 but early records were lost due to the fires and hurricanes over the years. The Gothic Revival style church was dedicated in 1886. In 2011 it was elevated to Basilica status due to its historic significance. A related St. Michael’s cemetery is nearby which dates back to 1781 where the Spaniards settling the area were buried. It was the only cemetery in the city until 1876.
Christ Church, Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola’s Old Christ Church was built in 1832 and one of the oldest church buildings in Florida. The Norman-Gothic building was occupied by federal troops during the Civil War and has been an Episcopal church, a library and a museum over the years. It was renovated in 1999 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When the area where Old Christ Church deteriorated into a slum in the early 1900s, Christ Church moved to North Hill and built a new church (above). It was completed in 1903 at a cost of $25,000.
Christ Church Episcopal in Fort Meade, Florida is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a Carpenter Gothic style and was built in 1889, three years after the church was founded. It’s thought to be the oldest religious structure in Polk County, Florida.
I spotted this small church off the side of Highway 301 in Central Florida. It’s known as St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church according to the sign and is considered Folk Victorian in style. From what I’ve found, it looks to have been built shortly before World War II.
Hilliard Pentecostal Full Gospel Church, Hilliard, Florida, Nassau County
I don’t think Hilliard Pentecostal Church is very old, but I couldn’t resist stopping due to the eclectic lettering and the American Flag. It’s located just a little south of the Georgia state line.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is in Federal Point, Florida. It was built around 1883 for $1,000 after the congregation hauled the lumber from the river to the church property some distance away. Apparently a fund raising effort selling painted, hollowed out alligator eggs helped pay for the stained glass windows.
I’m not entirely sure, but I believe Mascotte, Florida’s oldest church building is this Methodist church (above) dating from 1904.
Trinity Episcopal Church is a small building in Melrose, Florida and was built around 1886 in the Carpenter Gothic style.
Work started on the Congregational Church of Mount Dora in 1887, the year Lake County, Florida was formed. A recent renovation last year restored the signature bell tower of the church. It’s located in the heart of Mount Dora, Florida.
St. John’s Episcopal is located in the downtown area of Jacksonville, Florida and was built in 1906 after the city’s “Great Fire” of 1901 that destroyed much of the center of town. It’s a Gothic Revival architectural style and the exterior (made of limestone with a slate roof) includes several interesting gargoyles and carvings. The church website includes a short history page as well.
Postcard of St. John’s Episcopal (1951)
Micanopy, Florida is a very small and quaint, “old Florida” town just north of Ocala. It was founded in 1821 and named for a Seminole indian chief. This church, originally built in the 1870s, was Presbyterian until the 1960s when it became vacant and purchased by the Episcopal congregation that own it today.
Silver Springs Shores Presbyterian Church was built in 1886 and originally was a little south of its current location near Ocala, Florida. It was moved in the mid 1970s to Silver Springs Shores and remodeled about twenty years ago.