Riverside Baptist Church

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Not to be confused with Riverside Church.
Riverside Baptist Church
Jax FL Riverside Baptist Church01.jpg
Riverside Baptist Church is located in Florida
Riverside Baptist Church
Location Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Coordinates 30°18′37″N 81°41′35″W / 30.31028°N 81.69306°W / 30.31028; -81.69306Coordinates: 30°18′37″N 81°41′35″W / 30.31028°N 81.69306°W / 30.31028; -81.69306
Built 1926
Architect Addison Mizner
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP Reference # 72000312[1]
Added to NRHP September 22, 1972
Rbcfromparkandking.jpg

The Riverside Baptist Church (RBC) is a historic church in Jacksonville, Florida. It is located at 2650 Park Street in the Riverside neighborhood. Designed by noted architect Addison Mizner and completed in 1926, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on September 22, 1972. On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects's Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[2]

Theology[edit]

Riverside Baptist is a progressive Baptist church serving a small, but diverse congregation. According to the church website, the congregation is "an inclusive open and affirming community of believers without regard for race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, gender, or disability, all with a diversity of gifts and experiences united under the Lordship of Jesus Christ."[3] It is associated with the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. While technically a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, the church does not hold to standard convention theology. It allows women to serve as deacons, welcomes homosexual members and does not condemn drinking, dancing or card playing. It is more closely tied with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), an organization whose theology is more moderate than the modern Southern Baptist Convention. CBF and RBC hold to historical Baptist values including local church autonomy, priesthood of all believers and religious liberty.

Conflict with the Florida Baptist Convention[edit]

In 2009, Dr. John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention, requested a meeting with Riverside's pastor David Holladay. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss Riverside's acceptance of homosexuals. Riverside accepts homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle, while the Florida Baptist Convention defines it as sinful. The meeting ended with the two parties agreeing to disagree. It is unknown whether the Florida Baptist Convention will take disciplinary action against Riverside.[4]

The Building[edit]

The sanctuary combines Romanesque, Byzantine, and Spanish elements, and is a splendid example of what is colloquially called the "Florida Spanish" style. It is one and a half stories, limestone with gabled and hipped tile roof sections, a double-door entrance beneath compound round arch, and sculptured tympanum. The design is believed to be Mizner's only religious structure. The radical nature of the design caused the loss of some members after its completion.[5]

References[edit]

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