Santa Rosa County's Historic Churches

By: Florida Division of Historic Resources Staff

Santa Rosa County is home to two churches built before 1920.

Florida has a rich and diverse history.  African American landmarks and legacies exist in various locations throughout the state. The following historical sites can be found in Santa Rosa County.

New Providence Missionary Baptist Church (Bagdad Museum Complex)
4512 Church Street
This church is among the oldest in Santa Rosa County. Carpenters who were sons of the pastor, the Rev. John Kelker, Sr., built the original church. The current wood frame vernacular structure was built in 1901. Moved to its present location in 1989, the building serves as a community center and museum devoted to the history of Bagdad, the churches and the black community. (850) 981-1313.

Mount Pilgrim African Baptist Church

410 Clara Street
The Mount Pilgrim African Baptist Church was organized in 1866 by blacks that left the First Baptist Church. This 1916 building is an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture designed by Wallace A. Rayfield, a leading African American architect in the South during the early 20th century. Members of Mount Pilgrim helped establish four other African American congregations in the community.
(850) 623-4412.

Adapted from Florida Black Heritage Trail, published by the Florida Department of State, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, copyright 2007. For more information on African American sites, please visit  

Additional information can also be found at:

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