Historic Markers Across Florida

New Zion Baptist Church

Marker ID: FLHM F-443
Location: 10 South Street, Amelia Island
County: Nassau
Coordinates: N 30° 40.225    W 081° 27.4
  30.67041666    -81.45666666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM3M1N


New Zion Baptist Church, the second oldest and largest black Baptist Church on Amelia Island, was founded on May 15, 1870 under the leadership of Reverend Lewis Cook (1834-1880). He and 69 parishioners held their first meeting in a stable on First Street and later in peoples´ homes. The 69 parishioners, supported by “Father Cook,” purchased the land for the church on April 1, 1878. The original wood church, built in 1881on the present site, was destroyed by fire on the morning of February 11, 1907. The current structure, built on the same site and completed by November 1907, was constructed of cement brick veneer and remains unchanged today. William “Billy” Rivers, a well-known black contractor, supervised the project. Reverend P.A. Callaham, Bachelor of Divinity, served as Pastor. New Zion has a historical, cultural and spiritual significance, particularly during the segregation era, when it was the leading and largest church used for graduations and other community events. Under the leadership of 22 pastors, New Zion has for over 100 years contributed to the community and remains a cherished historical site in the historic district of Fernandina Beach.

Sponsors: City of Fernandina Beach and the Florida Department of State


City: Amelia Island, FL