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Jacksonville's Churches

    We do not know of any city of equal size that has so many houses of worship as Jacksonville.  There are fifty-one church buildings in the city, representing all the leading denominations of this country.  At least one-half of these are for colored people, who are among the most devoted religious zealots of any people on earth.  The Protestant Episcopal Church is probably the strongest denomination in Jacksonville, having six churches and several missions, together with a parish house and two Chapters of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.  The first services ever held in Jacksonville, of which there is any record, was April 15th, 1834.  They were conducted after the rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and were held in the Court-House, in lieu of a church building.  It was not until 1842 that the first church was erected.  On April 24 of that year the cornerstone of St. John's P. E. Church was laid.  During the same year Bethel Baptist Church was erected and dedicated.  But in 1840 the Tabernacle Baptist Church was organized.  St. John's Church flourished and grew, and has to-day one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in Florida. 

Brown, S. Paul
The book of Jacksonville:  a history
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.:  A.V. Haight, printer and bookbinder, 1895, pp. 130-