St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
84 Bridge Street
ACCORD Freedom Trail
Trinity United Methodist Church is the oldest congregation in historic Lincolnville and one of the oldest Protestant congregations in Florida. Its origins date to the early American period, in the 1820s, when a Methodist missionary came to St. Augustine and baptized both blacks and whites.
Two earlier church buildings, on Charlotte Street and on St. George Street, housed integrated groups until the Civil War, when the whites withdrew and the congregation became all black. In 1905 the whites tried to reclaim the coquina church on St. George Street. An agreement was reached to sell that building and divide the money, giving rise to the First Methodist Church for whites and Trinity for blacks.
This site on Bridge Street had been an orange grove owned by a free black man named Philip Edinboro under both Spanish Colonial and American Territorial rule. The church acquired it from Ward G. Foster, founder of the famous "Ask Mr. Foster" travel agency. They met in the Foster house, at first, then in 1912 broke ground for the current church building, which was completed in 1913 by contractor S. Clark Edminster. It is one of the
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Trinity was one of the main churches where rallies were held, in preparation for marches downtown to protest racial discrimination. When marchers were cursed and had bottles thrown at them in the downtown plaza, they made their way back to Trinity for sanctuary. Their courage and determination impressed the world and led to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One of the first Methodists here, and their longtime minister, was Jack Smith (c. 1793-1882), who became one of the best-known citizens of St. Augustine. This engraving is from Harper’s magazine in 1875. He told the story of his life – from Africa to slavery to freedom – to pioneer Florida historian Buckingham Smith. It was prepared for publication in the twenty-first century by Dr. Patricia Griffin.
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. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights. A significant historical month for this entry is July 2008.
Location. 29° 53.348′ N, 81° 18.86′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker is on Bridge Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 84 Bridge 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 marker. 81 Bridge Street (a few steps from this marker); 79 Bridge Street (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Mary's Missionary Baptist (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 76 Washington Street (about 400 feet away); Record Building (Cordova Apartments) (about 500 feet away); Lincolnville Historic District (about 500 feet away); Canova-Dow and Canova-de Medicis Houses (about 600 feet away); First Baptist Church of St. Augustine (about 700 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 2,033 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2009, by Gwendolyn Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.