Jacksonville’s Historic Churches

Stained-Glass Windows at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral

Last week, I attended my first photoshoot with the Beaches Photography Club. I have been a member of that organization for several years but never went out with them to shoot photos. Our outing last week was to downtown Jacksonville to photograph the city’s historic churches. The club had obtained permission to go inside the sanctuary of St. John’s Cathedral to photograph the interior. In the past, I had always preferred to go out with my camera alone. However, I really enjoyed this outing.

Most of Jacksonville’s historic church buildings were destroyed in the “Great Fire of 1901.” Wikipedia describes that fire as:

About noon on Friday, May 3, 1901, a boiler explosion at a candle factory caused a fire that spread to a mattress factory, setting ablaze mattresses filled with Spanish moss. In eight hours, the fire burned 146 city blocks, destroyed more than 2,368 buildings, and left almost 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Here are a few of my shots of the churches, most of them re-built shortly after 1901. You can view more of my photos of the churches in the “Church” section of my photo site.

Our first stop was at St. John’s Cathedral on Duval Street.

St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida

Here is a shot of the interior.

St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida

Next, was the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, just down the street

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Jacksonville, Florida, founded in 1854. The present church edifice was dedicated in 1910. The former pastor, Bishop Kenny, presided at the dedication of the church which is constructed of white Kentucky limestone.

Our next stop was at First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville, Florida. The great fire of 1901 was not kind to the Methodist Church. Only two brick walls of the sanctuary were standing after the fire. These two walls became part of the new sanctuary.

Then, on to the Old Morocco Building. In 1984 the Shriners moved out of this building, and it has now been renovated for commercial office space.

Old Morocco Building, Jacksonville, Florida. The grand building was erected in 1910-11 in the prairie style of architecture using Egyptian-themed symbols. The building is the oldest Shrine temple in Florida.

Our final stop was a couple of blocks away at Historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Florida. Established in 1866, the original building was destroyed by the fire of 1901. The current building was built in 1902

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. I would love it if you checked out all of my church photos in the church section of my photo site.

Thanks for taking a look!

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