An 1887-style service is planned for Sunday; public is invited.
On Sunday morning Aug. 14, 1887, guests of the grand oceanfront Murray Hall hotel in Pablo Beach gathered for the first Episcopal church service in their new white chapel, which they called St. Paul's by the Sea.
The Murray Hall burned down in 1890, and Pablo Beach later became Jacksonville Beach, but through the years the chapel continued to serve the Beaches. Even after it was moved several times, including to its present location at Beaches Chapel on Florida Boulevard in Neptune Beach.
Plans are under way to move it again, to Pablo Historical Park in Jacksonville Beach, not far from its original location at Second Avenue South and Second Street.
Meanwhile, the chapel's present congregation plans to honor it by holding an 1887-style service at 9 a.m. Sunday, and the community is invited.
The Rev. David Ball of Resurrection Anglican Church, who leads 9 a.m. services there every Sunday, said since Aug. 14 falls on a Sunday this year, they will hold a service featuring the prayer book that would have been used in 1887, as well as hymns that were written before that year and may possibly have been sung by the original congregation.
They'll use the 1790 Book of Common Prayer, and music from that time period, "as a way to honor the history of the building and all it's stood for in the past 124 years," he said.
The chapel, which Ball said can seat about 125 people in its pews, is the oldest church at the Beaches, and one of the community's oldest buildings. To read more, click here.