Memorial Presbyterian Church
St. Augustine Florida
HABS FLA-170
Early Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine
The Presbyterian church was organized October 31, 1823 with 26 members. The Presbyterian Church
was organized on October 31, 1823 with 26 members. The Church started with a meeting at Elias
Wallace's house (there are other stories that would locate the first services in Judge Floyd's house)  on
Charlotte street. William W. Blair and Elias B. Gould set aside as first elders. Rev. W. McWhire was the
first minister. Later services were held in the government house under the direction of Rev. Ebenezer
Snowden from 1826 to 1828. The organizing agent was the Presbytery of Georgia but St. Augustine was
not part of the Georgia presbytery.  Rev. McWhire only remained in the city for 10 weeks.

Cornerstone (Augusta Chronicle, 2-2-1825)
The corner-stone of the Presbyterian Church to be built in St. Augustine, was laid in that city on the 1st
inst. The service was performed by the Rev. Mr. M'Vain. ---
Georgian.

The Coquina Church on St. George Street
Almost no church starts itself from scratch and the St. Augustine Presbyterian Church was no exception.
The church received its early support from the American Home Missionary. The American Home
Missionary Society was formed in May 1826 by members of the Presbyterian, congregational, Dutch
Reformed, and Associate Reformed churches. They helped support St. Augustine by commissioning and
supporting ministers.

The May 1827 report of the American Missionary Association said: "This is regarded by the Committee
as a highly interesting location, as the contemplated Canal from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean
(sic) will probably pass not far from it, and add greatly to its wealth and importance. It now contains
2,000 inhabitants, and the labours of our Missionary appear to have been well received and useful.
Commission for 12 months from December 8, 1825. Portion of aid, 4 months." "The Church in St.
Augustine, East Florida. Commission for 6 months from October 16, 1826. Proportion of aid, 2 months.
This location is regarded as highly important to the interests of religion in the Floridas, and the Committee
rejoice in the assurance that there are in the present prospects of the Church there, some circumstances
of encouragement. Rev. Ebenezer H. Snowden, Missionary.

In 1828 the Second Report of the society explained: "The Presbyterian congregation in St. Augustine,
East Florida Commission renewed for 6 months from July 16, 1827 and again renewed for 12 months,
from January 6, 1828, --- aid, in about the proportion of 6 months per year. This congregation is making
efforts to erect a house of worship, for which purpose $1000 was subscribed at a late meeting of the
Presbytery of Georgia. Two Sabbath Schools and 2 Bible Classes have been reported. Rev. Ebenezer
H. Snowden, Minister."

The 1829 Third Report listed a set back: "Presbyterian congregation in St. Augustine, East Florida.
Commission renewed for twelve months, ending January 16, 1829. Aid about six months. Our missionary
left his field some time during the year.

Building
On January 1, 1825 the congregation laid the cornerstone for the new church and began to build a church
on St. George Street next to the Buena Vista Hotel between Bridge and St. Francis Streets. The building
was built of coquina. The church was completed in 1830 and dedicated in 1834. In 1835 a Sunday
School program was started.

April 2, 1842
Rev. William McWhir
This venerable father of the Presbyterian Church, is now on a visit to St. Augustine. His apparent health
of body and vigor of intellect, are very remarkable at his advanced age -- between eighty and ninety.
Several of the Churches in Georgia and Florida, owe their origin to Father McWhir's instrumentality; and
he was in an eminent degree the founder of the Presbyterian Church in this city, where we trust he will be
able to preach on the morrow.

In 1842 slaves were admitted to membership but that was subject to a resolution stipulating that slaves
could apply for admission to the church "with satisfactory evidence that the application is made with the
knowledge and permission of the owner or master."   Dr. Myers was pastor of the Presbyterian church in
this city at the time of the Civil War. Soon after the commencement of hostilities he removed to
Monticello, Florida.

The fairwell service to this church building was held on March 9, 1890.

To see any of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House you would need to go to the
Oldest House and
examine the room with the paneling from the Old Meeting House, also stones from the building were
reused in making the columns of the fence for the new church. (
List of Pastors) (List of Elders)  (List of
Deacons) (Deaths early 1900s)

The Memorial Presbyterian Church
The Memorial Presbyterian Church was built by Henry Flagler in memory of his daughter Jennie Louise
Benedict.

The architects are
John Carrere and Thomas Hastings. The builders are the construction firm of McGuire
and McDonald.

The church is a Venetian Renaissance Revival style. It is modeled after St. Marks in Venice.

The church took a little less than one year to build.

The church was completed in 1890.

The Memorial Presbyterian Church was donated in 1890 to the St. Augustine First Presbyterian Church
by Henry M, Flagler as a memorial to his recently deceased daughter. Flagler,a millionaire philanthropist,
who originally made a fortune as a business colleague of John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil
was almost single-handedly responsible for the late 19th-century development of the east Florida Coast
as a fashionable resort area. The son of a Presbyterian minister, he was particularly concerned with that
church in the first of his Florida resort ventures—St. Augustine. He therefore donated this structure, the
land, and the former parsonage (also built at the same time as the church) to the First
Presbyterian Church Congregation, in return for their former properties at the corner of St. George
and Hypolita Streets, where Flagler had the Municipal Building built (1890) for the city.

Dec 23, 1888: The plans of the new Presbyterian Church to be erected here by Mr. Flagler are now
being finished by Messrs. Carrere and Hastings in New York. They will arrive in St. Augustine about the
15th of January, when work upon the edifice will immediately commence under the supervision of Mr.
McDonald of Messrs. McGuire and McDonald. Mr. McDonald would not inform your reporter what the
church would cost but said the structure would be the finest and most costly house of worship south of
Washington, D.C.

4 April 1890 conveyed building between Henry M. Flagler and
Ida Alice Flagler and the trustees of
Presbyterian: "shall be a temple devoted to the worship of God and the teaching of that saving faith in
which she lived and died."

The cooper dome reaches 150 feet into the air with the Greek Cross adding another 20 more feet.

Church Dedication
"Memorial Church was dedicated with solemn and auspicious ceremonies on March 16th, 1890. St.
Augustine was at 'the height of another gala season; visitors had watched the church in process of
building, and the day of dedication was eagerly awaited. Mr. Flagler had made elaborate plans
for the opening service; he brought his old friend and pastor, Dr. John R. Paxton, of West Presbyterian
Church of New York City, his famous choir, and organist by special train for the occasion. Several other
distinguished ministers from distant cities were present and took part in the several services of the day.
The dedication ceremony was attended by the wife of Benjamin Harrison and Vice President Levi
Morton.

It was erected in the city of St. Augustine Florida a church edifice in loving commemoration of her
spotless life, her virtues and her Christian devotion.  (
Baptismal Font)

Rev. J. N. MacGonigle
The 1890s and early 1900s  would see one of the most active ministries of the Presbyterian church in the
ministry of Rev. Dr. John. N. MacGonigle. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa in 1851. He received his B. A.
in 1871 and Masters in 1874. He was licensed in 1874 by the Pittsburgh Presbytery. He served various
churches in Pennsylvania till he became ill in 1889. He moved to St. Augustine in 1893.

In the Spanish American War he was requested to be the chaplain of the 1st Florida Regiment but had to
refuse because of health reasons. He earlier had given a sermon on "
A Christian Nation" on March 27,
1898 before the U. S. entered the war.

His views on African Americans in the south was interesting. While encouraging a 50% increase in funds
for Freedmen's missions he said: "...the Negro was not religious by nature. He was only emotional and
superstitious. The average colored preacher in the South, he said, was ignorant. They play upon the
emotions of their people on Sundays by preaching about a paradise of laziness as a reward for the gold,
and a hell for the wicked. On week days they set examples which will lead those that follow them to
eternal perdition." He went on to say that the best Negro ethically, in the South, was the Roman Catholic
or Presbyterian.

At Memorial Church (St. Augustine Evening Record, May 28, 1913)
Memorial Presbyterian church, Rev. Alfred S. Badger, D. D., minister. Preparatory lecture this evening in
the chapel at 7:30 o'clock, I cor. 11:23-26. It is always expected that at the service preparatory to the
celebration of vice preparatory to the celebration of the Lord's Supper, which occurs next Sabbath
morning, all members of the church will be present when not necessarily detained. Those wishing to unite
with the church will have opportunity to meet the session at this time. A cordial welcome awaits visitors.

Memorial Presbyterian to have Director of Religious Work (St. Augustine Record, Sept 2, 1926)
Recently upon recommendation by Dr. Barton B. Bigler, minister of Memorial Presbyterian Church, the
officers of that church chose Paul Bourus of Fort Wayne, Ind., as director of Religious Education.

Mr. Bourus is a young man of ability and character. His church background is that of the Presbyterian
Manse. His father is pastor of one of the Presbyterian churches of fort Wayne, Ind. In June of this year he
received his A. B. Degree from Wooster College, Ohio. His academic training included a major in
English, minor in public speaking and Spanish under excellent instructors. His work in the Bible
department included through courses in old and new testaments and a study of the psychology of religion
under the noted teacher, Dr. Samuel Dodds.

Mr. Bourus is athletic, having served in the capacity of physical director in the Y. M. C. A. at Auburn,
Ind. He is musical, having had experience in the Glee Club and orchestra at Wooster. He is energetic and
enthusiastic and greatly interested in young people. Much is expected of this young man by the minister
and the officers of Memorial church in the larger work which they are planning for the coming year. He
will begin his services October 1st.

                                                     
The Building
Description of Exterior
--
1. Number of stories: One story with high lantern and dome,.

2. Over-all dimensions: 170'-l0" (N-S) x approximately 111' 1"

3. Layout—shape: Latin Cross (with major axis N~S) with circular Flagler Family Tomb projecting from
the west side of the narthex.

4. Foundations: Mass concrete

5. Wall construction; finish; Mass concrete, left unfinished,with decorative details in brick and Terra Cotta.

Interior Description
The floor is of imported Siena tile laid in Venetian pattern, relieved by twelve plaques of violet broccia
marble symbolic of the twelve apostles.

The great Baptismal Font is one solid piece of Siena marble, an unusually fine specimen of Italian carving.
Above the font is the carved eagle lectern; upon it is a Bible of extraordinary size and design, its leather
binding richly ornamented with hand-wrought silver cherubim and a memorial plaque. , . . The services of
worship are conducted from the lectern; the minister preaches from the pulpit at the side, its canopy
simulating a huge shell.

Above the font is the curved eagle lectern; upon it is a Bible of extraordinary size and design, its leather
binding richly ornamental with hand-wrought silver cherubim and a memorial plaque.

Above and behind the rostrum is the beautifully carved choir screen; from this loft the organ is played and
the choir sings. During the service the choir is all but invisible.

The interior is furnished with finely carved mahogany woodwork from Santo Domingo. All the pews,
panelling, and doors are of this same rich wood, specially imported for this church.

The Windows
The distinctive stained glass windows, representing the several articles of the Apostles' Creed, were a
special gift of Mr. Flagler dedicated in 1902. "The windows of Memorial Church were carefully planned
by the Rev. John N. MacGonigle, then pastor of the church, and
Dr. Andrew Anderson, who was
President of the Board of Trustees. They worked in close co-operation with the artist Mr. T.
Schladermundt, of New York, v/ho was commissioned to furnish the sketches. These three men
consulted the architects, Messrs. Carrere and Hastings. . . .
The Apostles Creed was chosen for the
subject. . . . A color scheme of the ten high, narrow winders which would keep the
interior of the church In a single color tone was decided upon. The two broader windows and the rose
window were treated independently. "The rose window in the west end with the sunburst in the
background is the symbol of God the Father Almighty.

The rose window in the chapel is of the head of Christ taken from the scene of 'The Boy Christ in the
Temple, by Hoffman. "The windows were made by the Decorative Glass Company, New
York. Mr. Schladermundt [the artist, has some] of his work., in the Library of Congress In Washington,
D, C." (All quotations are from the brochure published by the Memorial Presbyterian Church Society,
The Flagler Story and Memorial Church; there is no pagination)

On the west side of the nave, beneath the windows representing the articles: "I believe In the forgiveness
of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting are the bronze doors and marble archway that
lead into the mausoleum of the Flagler family.

Organ
In 1928 the Roosevelt Organ was rebuilt and a solo organ added. The echo organ and chimes in the south
gallery are Estey installations. All three are played from the four-manual console in the choir loft.

The Plans
Essentially few alterations or additions have been made to the church since it was constructed from the
designs of Carrere and Hastings. Over 24 heliograph prints of the original architects' drawings and several
rough architects sketches for the church and parsonage are still (March., 1965) in the possession of the
church.  Photocopies of several of these have been reproduced for  the Historic American Buildings
Survey and are a gift of the Memorial Presbyterian Church; these are included in this "Photo-Data" book
and the "Photo-Data" hook for the Memorial Presbyterian Church Parsonage, HABS No. FIA-172.
There are also drawings at Columbia University filed under Carrere and Hastings.

The coquina columns that stand at either entrance of the church were built from blocks taken from the
walls of the old church on St. George Street.

The following list with brief descriptions indicates the most important of the architects drawings for the
church:

(1) "Side Elevation (lest)."
Heliograph with partial colored wash on linen-backed
paper. (3' x 4')
Scale: lA'^l'-O"
"Carrere and Hastings, Arch'ts.
3 Bowling Green, N. Y."

(2) "Transverse Section Looking South,"
Heliograph with partial colored v/ash on linen backed
paper (1*~10 \/2"-z2%~Wn)
Scale: l/4"=l'-0»
"Carrere and Hastings, Arch'ts.
3 Bowling Green, N, Y."

(3) "Plan of Dome over Pendentives."
Heliograph with partial colored v/ash on linen backed
paper (l*-^* x l»-7 1/2")
Scale: 1/4" = l!-0»
Stamped with office seal of Carrere and Hastings

(4) "North Elevation."
Heliograph with partial colored wash on linen backed
paper (2f-ll" x 2'-9")
Scale: 1/4" = l'-0"
"Carrere and Hastings, .Arch'ts.
3 Bowling Green, M. Y."

(5) "Ground Plan."
Heliograph, with partial colored v/ash on linen backed
paper (4,-l11 x 2'-l0")
Scale: 1/4" - l'-0"
"Carrere & Hastings, Aren't."

(6) "Front Elevation."
Heliograph v/ith partial colored v/ash on linen backed
paper (2'-10 1/2" x 3'-3 l/2")
Scale: 1/4" * l'-0"
"Carrere & Hastings, .Arch'ts"

(7) "Transverse Section."
Ink line on quality tracing paper (l'~6M x 2'-5")
Scale: 1/4" . l'-0"
MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
"Presbyterian Church - St. Augustine, Fla.
Carrere & Hastings, Architects,
Traced by: F. A. Hollingsworth - Architect
St. Augustine, Fla.

(8) "Longitudinal Section."
Ink line on quality tracing paper (2'-11" x 4'-3")
Scale: 1/4" = l'-0!\

(9) "Elevation and plan of Copper Dome."
Heliograph on Linen-hacked paper (2I-l/4" x 2'-6")
Carrere & Hastings, Architects

(10) "One Half Diagonal of Dome showing Pendentives and
Staircase to Gallery and Dome."
Heliograph with partial colored wash on linen-backed
paper (2'-3 1/4" x l'-8 1/2")
Scale: l/4" » l'-0»
Stamped with office seal of Carrere & Hastings

(11) "Transverse Section."
Heliograph with partial colored wash on linen backed
paper (I'-ll" x 2I~6")
Scale: l/4" = l!-0"
"Carrere & Hastings, Architects

(12) "Longitudinal Section."
Heliograph with partial colored wash on Linen-backed
paper (2'-llM x 4'-5")
Scale: l/4"=l'~0"
"Carrere and Hastings, Architects

(13) "Ground Plan."
Heliograph on paper (poor condition)
(3'-11" x 2'-11")
Scale: l/41! » l'-0"
"Carrere & Hastings, Archts"

(14) Detail of Concrete Bracket.
Pencil on paper (2r~7" x 3I-4")
Full scale
No signature; appears not to be work of architects' office, hut rather local working drawing,

(15) Details of Door and Gates.
Pencil with partial colored wash on paper (4'~0"
x 2t-9")
Scale: 3/4" = I'-O"
Carrere & Hastings, Arch'ts"
(16) "Ground Plan of Foundations."
Ink and blue wash on linen, (approximately 3,-7"
x 2'~7 1/2")
Scale: l/4"<L'-0,!

MEMORIAL -PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
HABS Mo. FIA-170 .(Page 4) ,lA  HAB5
RA
(17) "Plan and Section of Copper Dome.11 $S~5&U&
Ink on linen (3!-6 l/2(' x 2'-0") t^\^
Scale: 1/2" = l'-O"
No indication of architects or draftsmen.
(18) "Plan of Mosaic."
Heliograph on paper (2'-4 3/4" x 3'-0").
Scale: 1/4" = l'-O" x
Stamped with office seal of Carrere and Hastings

(19) "Floor Plan, showing pew arrangement in main
portion of church"
Ink on linen
Title block: "Presbyterian Church - St* Augustine,
Florida; Carrere & Hastings - Architects, 3 Bolding-
[sic] Green, N. Y.; traced by: F. A. Hollingsworth-
Architect - St. Augustine, Fla."

Changes
Dr. Andrew H. Anderson, a close personal friend of Mr, Flagler and for many years a trustee of the
church . . , in the 1920,s . . . engaged acoustical engineers at his own expense to correct the
bad acoustical qualities of the building.
Old Manse
Library of Congress
Manse interior
Library of Congress
Historic American Buildings Survey PHOTOCOPY -- ORIGINAL
ARCHITECTS' DRAWING IN INK ON LINEN (ABOUT
3'-7'x2'-7 1/2') (C. 1889). ORIGINAL IN THE COLLECTION OF
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA -
Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Valencia & Sevilla Streets,
Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,41--8
Historic American Buildings Survey Prime A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1961 GENERAL -- FROM SOUTHWEST - Flagler Memorial
Presbyterian Church, Valencia & Sevilla Streets, Saint Augustine, St. Johns
County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,41--1
Historic American Buildings Survey Prime A. Beaudoin, Photographer September 1961
FACING WEST TOWARD CHANCEL AND ORGAN LOFT - Flagler Memorial
Presbyterian Church, Valencia & Sevilla Streets, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,41--3
Historic American Buildings Survey PHOTOCOPY -- HELIOGRAPH PRINT
(2'-11'x2'-9') WITH PARTIAL COLORED WASH FROM THE
ARCHITECTS' OFFICE (c.1889) PRINT IN COLLECTION OF
MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA -
Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Valencia & Sevilla Streets, Saint
Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,41--6
Pews for Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine, Fla
Creator:  Carrère & Hastings
Donor:  Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine, Florida ( donor )
Publication Date:  circa 1889-1890
Jennie Louise Benedict
6 photos from Francis Benjamin Johnson
1938 for the St. Augustine Historic Preservation Association
Library of Congress
Presbyterian Memorial [i.e. Flagler Memorial Presbyterian] Church,
St. Augustine
Photographer:
William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942,  
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1880 and 1897]
[Altar, Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine]
Photographer:
William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942,
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1880 and 1897]
Flagler Memorial [Presbyterian] Church, St. Augustine, Fla.
Related Names:
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: c1906.
Reynolds Standard Guide
1896
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Flagler Construction 1885 to 1890
Flagler Era 1890 to 1900
Ponce de Leon Hotel
Ponce de Leon Entrance
Ponce de Leon Rotunda
Ponce de Leon Grand Parlor
Ponce de Leon Dining Room
News Article of 1889 opening
Signor Jovine - 1889 Singer
The Fame of the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Chemist at the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Count Prokaski
Harry Flagler Takes Charge of Hotel
Osborn Seavey
Robert Murray
Flagler Sewer System
Flagler Laundry
Flagler Statute
Artists Who Created Hotel
Carrere and Hastings
McDonald and McGuire
Clarence B. Knott
Ponce Studio Artists
Cuban Giants at Ponce de Leon Hotel
Reception for Mrs. U. S. (Julia) Grant at
the Ponce de Leon Hotel
William J Hammer
Electricity in St. Augustine
Seavey House
Henry Morrison Flagler
Casino
Alcazar Hotel
Casa Monica or Cordova
Flagler Hotel Competition
Joseph Greaves
Coast Guard Alters the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Ida Alice
Florida East Coast Railroad
 
   
Flagler
Old 1st Presbyterian
St. George Street.