Church of the Holy Comforter
The Episcopal Church in Crescent City, Florida
223 North Summit Street
Crescent City, Florida 32212-2301

A Brief Historical Sketch

      In 1876, The Rt. Rev. John Freeman Young, DD, Bishop of Florida, assigned The Rev. Charles S. Williams, former Rector of St. Matthew's Church, Brooklyn, New York, as missionary.  The Williams family moved to Crescent City in November, 1876.  

     The number of winter visitors to the area as well as permanent residents had increased sufficiently by 1877, that the people felt the need for a church in which to worship.  

      The first services were held in the church on February 10, 1878, and on Quinquagesima Sunday, March 3, 1878, Bishop Young made a visitation at which time the building was consecrated "Church of the Holy Comforter."  

       The church is of an architectural design developed by Richard Upjohn, an English-born architect from New York, who had to his credit, among other things, the founding of the American Institute of Architects, in 1854, and the design of Trinity Episcopal Church in New York.  Upjohn called his design Carpenter Gothic, his version of the Revived Gothic architecture of the Anglican Churches, which was easily adapted and constructed by skilled carpenters and featured narrow lancet windows, a high pitched roof with exposed rafters, and a board and batten exterior.  Upjohn's design afforded poor parishes an opportunity to construct functional yet attractive places of worship of an enduring nature.  There are a number of churches of this architectural style between Sanford and Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River. These churches are commonly referred to as "River Churches", as most of them are built near the river along the route followed by early travelers.