Our History: Churches / Graveyards

H8Arnett Chapel A.M.E. Church

Organized in 1866, this congregation is among the oldest in Gadsden County. The Romanesque Revival
style building was constructed in 1938-39 and named for the Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, the presiding bishop in Florida from 1888-1892.

 

 

Chestnut Street Cemetery

Located in the Apalachicola Historic District at the corner of Avenue E/US 98 and 8th Street, this is the oldest burying ground in Apalachicola and is the burial site of many individuals connected with the history and development of the town and area. Approximately 540 marked graves are located in the cemetery, but there are many more grave sites that are unmarked. A variety of tombstones decorate the cemetery, from simple vertical slabs from the 1830s to elaborate marble monuments. A few graves are marked with simple wooden crosses or a blanket of shells with no names.

 

H3Historic Dellwood Methodist Church

Constructed and dedicated in 1910, Dellwood’s beautifully restored Methodist Church has long been a landmark in eastern Jackson County. The grounds and graveyard are open to the public and a marker at the front outlines the history of the church and community. The home and office of Dr. Ryals (1875-1954), Dellwood’s famous country doctor, sits across the road behind a white plank fence. The restored home is private and not open to the public.

 

H4First Baptist Church and Cemetery of Campbellton

Constructed in 1825, the Bethlehem Baptist Church of Campbellton is now known as Campbellton Baptist Church and is the oldest organized Baptist Church in Florida.

 

 

H5Moss Hill Church

This 1857 structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains one of Florida’s oldest standing church buildings. The church is built of milled lumber, sawed at a water-powered mill on nearby Hard Labor Creek, and both square nails and wooden pegs were used to fasten the structure together. Look for the “upside down footprints” that can be seen in trails across the ceiling. They were probably left behind by folks walking along the planks when they were stacked on the ground. The church served as the center of life in the Holmes Valley community during the Civil War. Markers in Cemetery honor those captured when the Vernon unit tangled with Union troops returning from the Battle of Marianna on September 28, 1864. The skirmish is locally remembered as the Battle of Vernon. The church was attended by both whites and African American slaves during the years leading up to and during the Civil War. Both whites and blacks assisted in the construction of the structure and it stands today as a landmark to all of the early residents of Holmes Valley.

 

H6Old Philadelphia Presbyterian Church

Visit this picturesque historic church and adjoining cemetery off SR 65 north of Quincy. Presbyterians came here from Georgia and the Carolinas as early as 1822. These worshippers built a log meeting house in 1828, which was replaced in 1859 by the present building. It remains Gadsden County’s oldest surviving meeting house and many churches in Florida and Georgia can trace their origins to this church.

 

H7St. Luke’s Church and Cemetery

On September 27, 1864, Union troops led by Brigadier General Alexander Asboth struck the small Northwest Florida city of Marianna. The result was a bloody event remembered today as the Battle of Marianna. The culmination of the deepest penetration of Confederate Florida by Federal soldiers during the entire War Between the States, the Battle of Marianna was deadly and fierce and has been labeled by some as “Florida’s Alamo.” Commanded by Colonel Alexander Montgomery of the regular Confederate Army, an outnumbered force of Southern militia, reserves, volunteers, wounded soldiers home on leave, and a few regulars tried to defend against Asboth’s attack. One veteran participant described it as “the most severe fight of the war” for its size. By the time the battle was over, both sides had been severely bloodied. More than 25% of the male population of Marianna had been killed, wounded, or captured. The men and boys of the Marianna Home Guard made their desperate last stand among the graves in St. Luke’s Cemetery. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, similar appearance to today’s, was torched during the battle. A Union officer, Maj. Nathan Cutler, managed to save the pulpit Bible, which is on display inside the church. A plaque at the church commemorates the battle.