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The Jacksonville Association was formerly the St. Marys River Association. Its earlier history was comprised of churches located in Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida, in counties adjacent to the St. Marys River. The first session was held with the Hebron Church, Camden County, Georgia, November 21, 1879, where it was organized. Four churches entered into the organization at this meeting, Viz. Hebron and New Providence in Camden County, Georgia, Mt. Olive and Mt. Zion in Nassau County, Florida.
For 23 years our body was called St. Marys River Association, but at the 24th Annual Session, which met with Moniac Church, Charlton County, Georgia, October 24-26, 1902, Dr. W.A. Hobson of Jacksonville, made a motion to amend the Constitution by striking out the words “St. Marys” and substituting the word “Jacksonville”. The motion unanimously carried, and the St. Marys River Association became the “Jacksonville Association”.
The first annual meeting of the Association under the new name was held with Bethany Church, Nassau County, October 2-4, 1903. This was the 25th Annual Session and comprised of 19 churches. At the 37th Annual Session of the Jacksonville Baptist Association, held at First Baptist Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida, October 26-28, 1915, the Yulee Baptist Church petitioned to join. The minutes read as follows:
“Petitionary letters were received from the following churches asking for admission into the Association: Tabernacle Baptist Church, located at the Seaboard shops in Jacksonville. Yulee Baptist Church, located at Yulee, Florida. Liberty Baptist, located at Jacksonville Heights. Grand Park Baptist, located at Grand Crossing.”
October 18-19, 1938, First Baptist Church, Fernandina, Florida at the Jacksonville Baptist Association meeting, the following petition was presented. “Vernon D. Thomas presented a request for letters of dismissal in behalf of a group of churches for the purpose of organizing a new association. The request was accompanied with individual letters from each of these churches indicating that this action had been authorized by their respective churches in conference and approved by them. By motion the request was granted, and the clerk was instructed to issue letters of dismissal to the following churches: Fernandina, Mt. Olive, Callahan, Dinsmore, Hilliard, Live Oak, Oceanway, Pine Grove and Yulee.”
On October 25, 1938 at Callahan Baptist Church, these nine churches met and constituted the Northeast Florida Association with Rev. J.D. Poindexter as Moderator.
In 1979, there were 24 churches and 2 missions reported at the Annual Associational Meeting in October.
As of June, 2013, there are 37 churches and 3 new church starts.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8