Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Merritt Island & Community Cemetery Historical

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Merritt Island & Community Cemetery Historical (HM1WOX)

Location: Merritt Island, FL 32953 Brevard County
Country: United States of America

N 28° 26.523', W 80° 43.038'

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“White Lilly Cemetery”

—1892 —

Established in 1892, the Bethel A.M.E. Church of Merritt Island was the first African Methodist Episcopal church on North Tropical Trail, located on land James R. Ragan originally acquired through the Homestead Act in 1895. The wooden church sat on brick piers close to the road and was referred to as "The Little Church on Courtenay." Church pews were made of rough-hewn cypress, worn smooth from years of wear, and lined with fans advertising an insurance company. In front of a small altar was the communion rail, a 4 ft. section of 2x4 wood. Rev. Lawrence Walton was one of the church's first pastors. Rev. L.R. Catlin, Jr. was the pastor when a cornerstone was added in 1959 and the congregation of 49 included many grove workers. After 76 years of use, the church burned down in 1968. The adjacent cemetery was originally known as the "White Lilly Cemetery." Graves date back to the early 1900s with many unidentified. Among pioneer families buried here are the Gillins, McDonald, Williams and Anderson. Renamed the Bethel-Greater Mount Olive A.M.E. Church Community Cemetery, it is still in use and managed by the Greater Mount Olive A.M.E. Church, Merritt Island.
Year Placed2011
Placed ByThe Brevard County Historical Commission, The Brevard County Tourist Development Council and the Florida Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 30th, 2017 at 9:03am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 527681 N 3146204
Decimal Degrees28.44205000, -80.71730000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 28° 26.523', W 80° 43.038'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds28° 26' 31.38" N, 80° 43' 2.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)321
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4725 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island FL 32953, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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