|St. Mary's Missionary
53 Washington St.
St. Augustine, Florida
|St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church was founded on May 25, 1875 as an offshoot of 1st Baptist
Church The church was organized by Rev. Ivory Barnes.
He was followed in turn by Rev. Jackson, Sanders, Coleman and Rev. Cook.
In 1884 they purchased a 45 ft parcel of property on Washington Street for $38. The deeds were
issued by February 25, 1884.
The deed to the property at 69 Washington Street (#94 / page 107) is dated 17 Dec 1929 and
shows that Fanny B. Dewhurst sold the property to the church for $100. Trustees who signed the
L. M. Gant J. R. Robinson
Ed Polier Dorset Jones
James Gilliard Jonnie Jones
Some children of founding members: Sister Annie Davis (her mother was a founding member);
Sister Carrie Stewart (her mother was a founding member); and Brother Horace Moran (his
parents were founding members)
The building at 69 Washington Street was constructed in 1920. Sanborn maps show a church on
the site prior to the 20th century. Early in the 20th century, Washington Street was the "main
street" in Lincolnville.
Inscription on the cornerstone of the present building:
St. Mary's Baptist Church organized May 25, 1875, Rev. I. Barnes, pastor. New St. Mary's,
1920. Trustees: A. Sankes, H. Wellon, R. B. Kilton, M. E. Chaleton, A. Jelks, W. M. Smith,
James Gilyard, H. Moran, Chi., Rev. T. H. Rogers, pastor.
Rev. W. T. Franklin was called as pastor on April 24, 1904. He stayed till March 4, 1909. The
acting pastor was Rev. J. W. Murray who stayed till October 1, 1909. Rev. G. J. Johnson was
called on November 1, 1909. He was followed by Rev. C. S. Daniels who served the month of
January 1913. Rev.Jasper Davis was called as pastor on February 27, 1913. Under Rev. Davis
the first organ was purchased. Rev. H. L. Long was pastor for 1914. Rev. T. H. Rogers was
called as pastor December 29, 1917. A new building was constructed in 1920. The trustees in
1920 were A. Sanks, H. Weldon, R. B. Kelton, Mc. Chaleton, A. Jelks, W. M. Smith, Jas.
Gilyard, H. Moran, Chairman.
The Rev. William Banks became pastor on October 5, 1924. On November 12, 1935 the old
building was condemned and the church began to move. First it was at the Benevolent Hall on St.
Francis Street. Then Coopers Hall on the corner of Park Place and Central Avenue. Finally the
new building was completed on February 29, 1937. In 1939 there was a church split and Rev.
William Banks resigned (August 27, 1939). 40 people went with him to build Bethel Baptist
Church on Riberia Street.
Rev. William Baxter was called in October 1939 and served for one year. Rev. Robert Leander
Jones was called in December 1940 from a church in Orlando, Florida. He paid the mortgage off,
petitioned the basement into class rooms and purchased a new organ in 1947. He resigned in
1949. Rev. T. J. Alston was the supply pastor in 1949 and finally called as pastor until 1952. Rev.
G. W. Phillips stayed from 1952 till 1954. Rev. Thomas A. Wright was called as Pastor on
November 4, 1954. He served for 7 1/2 years. During his tenure, the church budget went from
$3600 to $12,000; the church purchased the first parsonabe and some furniture and fixtures.
Central heating system was installed in church and exterior and interior of church building were
renovated. Four deacons were ordained as brothers:
Rev. H. L. Smith was pastor through the civil rights years from 1962 through 1965. Rev. H. L.
Patterson served over 14 years as Pastor. Rev. H. L. Patterson: September 1965 to end of 1981
Celebrated 14th Anniversary with the Church on 27 October 1979. Active in community affairs:
president of NAACP, member (& president ?) of St. Augustine Ministerial Alliance, Chairman of
the executive board of the Union St. James Missionary Assn.
Rev. Isaac Davis was called on February 10, 1982.
Civil Rights (See St. Augustine and Civil Rights)
During the 1950s St. Mary's came to life with Rev. Thomas Wright (Pastor from 1954-1962). He
attended Florida Memorial College. He helped reorganize the NAACP, serve as President of
Murray school PTA and would be active in non-violent training for the students that would take
part in the Woolworth lunch counter protest. Dr. Wright is the author of Courage in Persona.
St. Mary's would be the beginning site of many marches in the 60s.
|St Mary's Missionary Baptist
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|Churches of Florida