Historic Markers Across Florida

The Good Shepherd Church 1887-1966

Marker ID: FLHM F-846
Location: on N 9th St behind St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 801 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL
County: Nassau
Coordinates: N 30° 40.289    W 081° 27.475
  30.67148333    -81.45791666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMQP0W


The Good Shepherd Church

In May 1887, the original wood frame building of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Fernandina was given to the black congregation and called Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. The structure was moved to face east on Ninth Street. The rectors of St. Peter's continued to serve the segregated congregations on Sunday mornings. Father Neil Gray, who served both parishes in the 1950s, called the walk between the two churches his "via dolorosa," or "way of suffering." In the 1950s, Good Shepherd included 59 confirmed adult members and 24 children. In 1964, the Good Shepherd building was destroyed by Hurricane Dora and a new building replaced it two years later. When Hamilton West, the Episcopal Bishop of Florida, declined to consecrate the new church, the black and white congregations were integrated. The new building, although never used as a church, became a youth center and stands on the northwest corner of the campus. The original church bell, which was cast from metal recovered from a pre-Civil War Florida railroad engine, was moved to Camp Weed in Live Oak, the camp of the Diocese of Florida.

F-846 St. Peter's Parish and the
Florida Department of State