Top Religious Buildings (Self Guided), Jacksonville

The history of Jacksonville can be learned through stories of the foundations of numerous places of worship within the city. Their rich spiritual and architectural legacy continues to amaze locals and tourists alike. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover the most beautiful churches of Jacksonville.
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Top Religious Buildings Map

Guide Name: Top Religious Buildings
Guide Location: USA » Jacksonville (See other walking tours in Jacksonville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mount Zion AME Church
  • Saint John's Cathedral
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • First Baptist Church of Jax
  • Saint Philip's Episcopal Church
  • Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
Mount Zion AME Church

1) Mount Zion AME Church

The Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church is another historic place of worship situated on East Beaver Street. The origins of this religious denomination date back to the end of the Civil War, when a group of Freedmen established a spiritual society, which in 1866 officially became known as Mount Zion AME Church. Throughout the years the building has been enlarged several times and in 1901 it suffered the same fate as numerous buildings in the city caused by The Great Fire of Jacksonville. The new large church was built here in 1905 in Romanesque architectural style featuring large decorated arched windows, a bell tower and contrasting brick quoins.
Saint John's Cathedral

2) Saint John's Cathedral

The small all-wooden St. John’s church built in 1842 was burned down during the Civil war. The construction of the new St. John’s Cathedral took four years and was completed in 1877 under the supervision of architect Edward Potter. The church suffered a lot of damage from the Great Fire of 1901 and had to be re-constructed and re-designed again. In 1951, St. John’s Church gained the new status of the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida. One of the oldest places of worship and the only Cathedral in Jacksonville, St. John’s is a fine example of Gothic Revival architectural style with a spacious interior decorated with wooden carvings and stained glass windows.
First United Methodist Church

3) First United Methodist Church

Jacksonville’s First United Methodist Church was founded by John Jerry in 1823 who was known to have been travelling on horseback across Florida carrying his cloths, books and food, spreading the word of God and conducting religious services. The current structure of the church resembles the original neo-classical building that had a much smaller tower and lacked the Doric columns that add a special grandeur to the somewhat modest all-white building. First United Methodist Church has good musical traditions and invites young and old to visit its liturgical mass services.
Church of the Immaculate Conception

4) Church of the Immaculate Conception

The current building of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was designed in 1905 by architect M. H. Hubbard. Construction began in 1907 and completed on December 8, 1910, when the building was dedicated. The structure is an example of Late Gothic Revival architecture, considered one of the best such examples in Florida, featuring a cruciform floor plan, pointed arches, tracery on the windows, buttresses and pinnacles, high spires, and a high vault on the interior.

The building's 178.5-foot (54.4 meters) steeple, topped by a gold-plated cross, was the highest point in the city for three years until the Heard National Bank Building was finished in 1913. In 1979 the church received solemn dedication, meaning the structure cannot be demolished willfully or converted to another purpose besides a church. On December 30, 1992 it was listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Sight description based on wikipedia
First Presbyterian Church

5) First Presbyterian Church

The oldest religious body in the city, the First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1840. At the beginning, the small congregation of Jacksonville gathered in private residences, but in 1844 with help from the retired sea captain O. Conger, a new building at Newnan Street was purchased. It was the congregation’s spiritual home until 1847 when additional donations from Conger allowed the foundations of the structure to be laid in 1847. In 1855 under the patronage of Miss Phoebe Swart, the church was remodeled and enlarged. During the American Civil War the church was used as a hospital. Today this beautiful Gothic church is a prominent landmark of Jacksonville. It is home to various spiritual community events.
First Baptist Church of Jax

6) First Baptist Church of Jax

The First Baptist Church of Jacksonville is a large Southern Baptist church located in downtown Jacksonville. With its current membership at 28,000 and with an average attendance of around 7,500 for Sunday services, it is the third largest in the Southern Baptist Convention. First Baptist Church has its origins in the oldest Baptist congregation in Jacksonville, Bethel Baptist Church, established in 1838.

The church experienced a period of considerable growth in the mid-20th century, and now encompasses eleven square blocks of downtown Jacksonville. Several former pastors, including Homer G. Lindsay, Jr. and Jerry Vines, were widely influential in the Southern Baptist Convention, leading it in both growth and a shift towards conservatism and fundamentalist Christianity.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint Philip's Episcopal Church

7) Saint Philip's Episcopal Church

In 1872 the foundations were laid for a new church to serve the black community of Jacksonville. Rev. Brook G. White and Bishop John Freeman Young founded the mission with the help of St. John’s Church, which provided the new St. Philip's Episcopal Church with lay readers and priests. Throughout the years, the church underwent numerous modifications. The current structure was built in 1906 following the Gothic Revival traditions – the most appreciated architectural style of the turn of the century. Following its rich legacy, St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church continues to play an active role in the religious education of the vibrant Jacksonville community.
Bethel Baptist Institutional Church

8) Bethel Baptist Institutional Church

Bethel Baptist Institutional Church was built in 1904 in a mixture of Greek Revival and Romanesque architectural style. As it was founded in 1838, this is the oldest Baptist congregation in Jacksonville. Among the first congregates there were numerous black slaves whose masters allowed them to attend religious services. The first Baptist church in Jacksonville, Bethel Baptist continued to be the spiritual home for interracial congregations until the end of the Civil War. Like many other buildings in the city, Bethel Baptist Church was severely damaged during the Great Fire of Jacksonville of 1901 and was reconstructed by New York architect M. H. Hubbard. This beautiful church’s complex has been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Walking Tours in Jacksonville, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Jacksonville

Create Your Own Walk in Jacksonville

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jacksonville is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Jacksonville Southern Bank Tour

Jacksonville Southern Bank Tour

Jacksonville is a poplar tourist destination in Florida. The Southern Bank neighborhoods of the city are well packed with modern architecture, interesting attractions, exciting museums and galleries. Take this walking tour to check out the most popular tourist spots of Southern Jacksonville, including the artsy-trendy San Marco neighborhood.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries

Jacksonville is a city that has just a few museums and galleries, but all of them are very interesting and educational. You should visit such beautiful places as the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and such unusual sites as the Forest Capital State Museum. Take our guided tour to discover the most worthy places and learn more about Jacksonville and Floridian history in general!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles