St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
84 St. Benedict Street
ACCORD Freedom Trail
The narrow streets and small building lots of this area mark it as the earliest part of Lincolnville, founded by freed slaves after the Civil War and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An earlier house that stood on this site was the home of William VanDyke, a pioneer black elected official of St. Augustine in the 1870s.
The current building was constructed between 1910 and 1917 to serve as a parsonage for the adjacent St. Paul A.M.E. Church. It is similar in age, design, and building material to the nearby parsonage for First Baptist Church and the rectory for St. Benedict the Moor Church, all of them representing the early twentieth century heyday of Lincolnville.
Rev. Shepherd Hunter and his wife Alberta lived here in the 1940s. Their granddaughter remembered visiting them, and "the passage way between the church and the parsonage", in her biography, In My Place (1992). Her name is Charlayne Hunter-Gault. In 1961 she became the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia in its 176 year history. She is known to millions from her years as correspondent on the popular PBS television
St. Paul A.M.E. Church played an important role in the civil rights movement. Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson spoke at a large rally here in June 1964. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to speak, many people wanted to hear him, but no single church was large enough. Rallies were held simultaneously at St. Paul and neighboring First Baptist. Dr. King was shuttled out the back door of one church and in the back door of the other, allowing more people the opportunity to hear him speak.
This Historical Marker Presented this 2nd Day of July, 2008 by Northrop Grumman
Erected 2008 by The 40th Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc. (ACCORD).
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church series list.
Location. 29° 53.221′ N, 81° 18.88′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker is on St. Benedict Street south of St. Francis Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 84 St Benedict Street, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this First Baptist Church of St. Augustine (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Paul A.M.E. Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Black Catholic Heritage (within shouting distance of this marker); 97 M.L. King Avenue (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elk's Rest (about 500 feet away); 102 M.L. King Avenue (about 500 feet away); 113 DeHaven Street (about 600 feet away); 120 DeHaven Street (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2009, by Gwendolyn Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,016 times since then and 131 times this year. Last updated on March 27, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2009, by Gwendolyn Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida. 3. submitted on April 14, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. 4. submitted on May 21, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.