Memorial Presbyterian Church

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Memorial Presbyterian Church

The Memorial Presbyterian Church is a historic church located at 36 Valencia Street in St. Augustine, Florida, United States. The church has been named by many news outlets, including CNN and USA Today, as one of the religious wonders of the U.S. and one of the most beautiful Protestant churches in the world. The church was built in 1889 by business tycoon and St. Augustine benefactor Henry Morrison Flagler and dedicated in honor of his daughter Jennie Louise Benedict, who died following complications from childbirth at sea the same year, hence the word Memorial.[1]

Designed by the New York architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings in the Second Renaissance Revival style and inspired by St Mark's Basilica in Venice, the church was built utilizing a novel construction technique pioneered by Franklin W. Smith, builder of the Villa Zorayda. This building method utilizing poured concrete mixed with crushed coquina stone, was utilized in Smith's Casa Monica Hotel, as well as in Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel and Alcazar Hotel, both of which last were designed by Carrère and Hastings, with construction overseen by Smith.

Like the Alcazar and Ponce de Leon, many of the architectural details were created with terra cotta.[2]

Upon Flagler's death in 1913 he was interred in a marble mausoleum within the church beside his daughter Jennie Louise and her infant Marjorie, as well as his first wife Mary Harkness Flagler.[3]

The current Pastor and Head of Staff, as of 2017, is the Rev. Dr. W. Hunter Camp, II.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Spiritual Florida: A Guide to Retreat Centers and Religious Sites in Florida By Mauricio Herreros p. 13
  2. ^ Flagler's St. Augustine Hotels: The Ponce de Leon, the Alcazar, and the Casa Monica by Thomas Graham p. 57
  3. ^ Legends and Tales: Remembering St. Augustine, Volume 2 By Karen Harvey p. 13


  • Ossman, Laurie; Ewing, Heather (2011). Carrère and Hastings, The Masterworks. New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 9780847835645.

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Coordinates: 29°53′38″N 81°19′01″W / 29.89379°N 81.31688°W / 29.89379; -81.31688