St Augustines Memorial Presbyterian Church – Recently Named one of the United States Religious Wonders by CNN
St Augustine’s Memorial Presbyterian Church is not only beautiful to look at, it has a long story behind its hundred and 23 year-old presence. Those who haven’t done your Flagler research or yet learned the history of the oldest city in the US, the story of this architectural masterpiece may be heard along St Augustine’s trolley and walking tours when visiting. The church was built by Henry Flagler in 1889 and dedicated to his daughter Jenny Louise Benedict who died from complications in childbirth. Today, Flagler, his first wife Mary, daughter Jenny, and grandchild are all entombed in the church.
The church’s architecture is similar in design to many of those in Europe. It features wood-carved walls, stained-glass windows, a peaceful sanctuary and a magnificent dome, which can be seen from a distance. Although its structure is similar to Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica it has a beauty all of its own, which leaves many of St Augustine’s visitors in awe. The Memorial Presbyterian Church is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and tours of the building are conducted on weekdays. In addition to being a tourist attraction in the oldest city, the church has an active congregation today with a full range of worship, music, education, fellowship, and pastoral ministries. It is in fact the oldest Presbyterian congregation in the United States.
Other churches CNN included on their list of religious wonders are: Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California, Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, Temple Emanu-El in New York City, Palace of Gold in Moundsville, West Virginia, Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Read CNN’s full article and the history of all the churches who made the list here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/10/travel/beautiful-religious-sites-us/index.html?hpt=hp_c3