Historic Markers Across Florida

First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton

Marker ID:  
Location: on US 301 just west of Gamble Mansion Historical State Park, Ellenton, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 29.738    W 082° 34.552
  27.49563333    -82.57586666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMRKTT


First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton

Side 1
The First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton is the oldest congregation in the bounds of the original Village of Bradenton and the oldest south of Tampa. In 1885, land was deeded to five trustees for the planned Braidentown Presbyterian Church. Meanwhile, the future congregants met for Sunday School on a dock at the west end of Prospect Avenue, today's 15th Street West. The Church body was constituted April 4, 1886 with thirteen members by the Reverend James Shearer, Evangelist of St. Johns Presbytery. PCUS. Services were held at the "Duckwall House" on the river on Old Main Street, now 12th Street. In 1887 William B. Tresca began construction of the first church building, on the south side of Manatee Avenue and east of present 9th street. The first church officers elected were David Duckwell as Elder, with W.O. Wilson and C.O. Muller, Deacons.

Side 2
In 1894 the original wood frame church building was moved west to the corner of Prospect and Manatee avenues. For thirteen years the congregation worshipped here. In 1907, the church was again moved a short distance east to the next block. In order to construct a new brick church. The congregation continued here, between 14th and 13th Streets, in the wood frame church until the brick church was completed in 1912. In 1949, the congregation, now called the First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton, (due to the change of the city's name), engaged John Rasmusen to build the current sanctuary building which sits directly on Manatee Avenue. Two property acquisitions, the Mower property in 1965 and the Knight property in 1968, on the north side of the church, allowed the Activities Center to be built. First Presbyterian Church is in the Peace River Presbytery and was in the Southern Presbyterian Church is in the Peace River Presbytery and was in the Southern Presbyterian Church (PCUS) until 1983 when it united with the PCUSA (Northern) Church.

Manatee County Historical Commission