Saturday, April 9, 2016


I recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a week-long Road Scholar program ( ) that was all about the city of St. Augustine, Florida.  Since the more "ancient history" of this city is covered in other blogs published on this site, the comments below will address the name that is often synonymous with the city---that would be Mr. Henry Flagler.  He is the human force behind the building of this distinctive church in the photos.  This architecture is in harmony with many of the other buildings in the city of St. Augustine, that have an association with the Flagler family.

During his stays in St. Augustine, Henry Flagler worshiped with the Presbyterian congregation of that city.  He was a lifelong Presbyterian and it seemed quite natural that the memorial to his daughter would be a new sanctuary for the congregation.  Flagler approached the trustees of the Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine and offered to build them a new sanctuary and Manse.  The trustees readily agreed. 

March of 1890, the congregation moved into their new home---the current building shown in this photo.  With the dedication of the new sanctuary, the Presbyterian congregation changed its name to Memorial Presbyterian Church to honor Mr. Flagler's loss. 

Memorial Presbyterian Church has 92 stained glass windows; 14 of the windows have words and/or pictures on them.  Stained glass windows were always a part of the design of the church, but installation did not begin before 1896.  Careful consideration was taken in the planning by Mr. Flagler and others in the church.  The Apostles' Creed was chosen as the theme of the 13 windows because of its acceptance among Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox faiths. 

The campus of the Memorial Presbyterian Church is exquisitely manicured, to reflect and harmonize with the beauty of the architecture.

The Christian Cross symbol is the highest point on the structure, reflecting the importance of Christ's death on the Cross, as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Other buildings on the property include the Manse/Church House that provides rooms for Sunday School classes, church offices, and a new fellowship hall. 

The interior of the church is just as magnificent as the exterior:
The blue and white, with tinges of gold, that can be seen on the ceiling of the church, remind me of being underneath a beautiful blue sky, decorated with a few white clouds, and a golden sun!

The ornate chandeliers, which were originally gas lights, have, of course, been converted to function with electricity. 

This magnificent baptistry is carved from a single piece of marble!

The rotunda is the location of the final resting place of Mr. Henry Flagler.  The mirror on the back wall is positioned to reflect the ornate ceiling dome for visitors, since they are not permitted to actually step inside the rotunda. 

I am using the images from this beautiful place of worship as a visual aid to help me with one of the memory verses for my First Place 4 Health ( ) class.  It says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20  .  In the same way that I would not want to dump garbage in this beautiful temple in Saint Augustine, likewise, I do not want to dump garbage into my body, which is also a temple.  When I live with this thought in mind, it gives me "MILES OF SMILES"!
(Editor's Note:  For
information on visiting this historic house of worship, check out their website or email   )