Our History

stainedglassof-historicchurch-optIn the last half of the 19th century a fleet of steamboats plied the St. Johns River from Jacksonville south to Central Florida.

The last port of call was the town of Enterprise where Jacob Brock, a former sea captain, built a hotel on the banks of the river where it widened to become Lake Monroe. The Brock House soon became famous as a winter mecca for wealthy northern families who came to party, hunt, fish and enjoy the mild Florida winters.

It was in the parlor of the Brock House that All Saints’ Church had its inception in 1881. The Rev. Samuel B. Carpenter, vicar of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Sanford, rowed across Lake Monroe and began conducting services there. Among the worshipers were notables and well-known sportsmen, most of substantial means. A mission was formed and those attending services decided they wanted to worship in a church instead of a parlor. In 1883, they and others contributed funds and furnishings for a church to be built on a corner of Clark Street.

This property was donated for a church in the 1870s by a grove owner named Lester Clark. At the time the church was built it was to serve Orange City as well as Enterprise and in later years, DeBary and Deltona.

Count Frederick De Bary, a wealthy champagne distributor, whose winter home still stands, furnished most of the lumber for the church, even though he was not an Episcopalian. The Brock family contributed money and Frank Storer of Boston was a generous giver. Storer served as the first treasurer of the church.church16-opt

The architecture of the church became known as Florida Gothic and was designed by a man who built many Florida churches during the era. An early picture shows its outside walls of natural cypress and the whole enclosed by a white picket fence.

The Church proper, constructed entirely of virgin timber, longleaf and curly pine and cypress, is for the most part in its original state except for two additions, a small sacristy built on the rear in the 1950s and a front porch and ramp added in 1971.