About 1872, the Rev. Brook G. White, an inspired catalyst, and the Rt. Rev. John Freeman Young, Bishop of the Diocese of Florida, organized and established a mission to serve the Black population. This mission became St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. With donations from the community, property was purchased at the corner of Union and Cedar (now Pearl) Streets, and a small frame church was erected. A rectory was also constructed with funds given by the wife of Fr. White. Initially, St. John’s Church supported the mission providing priests and lay readers for the services. To enhance the growth of the mission, a kindergarten was started in the rectory. This school attracted students from families throughout the city. Increased membership created a need for a larger church. The smaller church was “moved” from the corner to allow for the larger structure.
In 1926, with The Rev. Willoughby M. Parchment as the assigned priest, the St. Philip’s Mission applied for and received status as an independent parish. However, during the financial hardship of the depression, the parish reverted to a mission and was served by several priests. The Rev. Toussaaint Vincent Harris came to the mission in 1953 and parish status was regained in 1960. It was during Fr. Harris’ tenure that the Advent Corporate Communion and Breakfast was initiated as an annual event. Fr. Harris also organized the Bishop Delaney Guild, for women’s ministries.
The rich legacy of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and her members continues to inspire the hearts of the community in downtown Jacksonville. Since 1882 our consecrated landmark has been a nucleus where we aspire to become a fellowship of servants of Jesus Christ in sharing God’s love through sacraments, worship, education, evangelism, and pastoral care.
|Sit Down with the Architect of St. Philip’s||A Downtown Landmark: St. Philips Episcopal||The Reverend Absalom Jones, 1746-1818|
|(Ft. on Jax Historical Society)||(Featured on Metro Jacksonville)||(Featured on Episcopal Archives)|
|An Interview with Miss Henrietta C. Dozier Jacksonville’s first and foremost female architect… Learn More||It was the first African American Episcopal Church in the city, for one. Its founder, Freeman Young, was a character who stepped straight out of the adventure tales of the 19th Century.. Learn More||Absalom Jones was America’s first black priest. Born into slavery in Delaware at a time when slavery was being debated as immoral, he taught himself to read… Learn More|