Our History


In the summer of 1908, a tent meeting was held at the comer of Park and Margaret Streets on a lot owned by the Horne Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The First Baptist Church of Jacksonville planned the meeting as the initial step in the organization of a mission church. Out of this grew the beginning of Riverside Baptist Church.

At the time Riverside Baptist Church was organized, the Park and Margaret Street area [later to be known as Five Points] was strictly residential. Moving a short distance from Margaret Street, the church purchased property on the corner of Park and King Streets, the present site of the church. A frame building was constructed where the congregation held its first worship services in August 1913.

In the early 1920’s Riverside Baptist Church experienced remarkable growth, creating a necessity to enlarge its facilities. World-famous American architect, Addison Mizner, designed and built the Sanctuary of Riverside Baptist Church beginning in 1924. Mizner’s reputation as an architect stemmed from commissions he received to design and build homes in Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida, during the early 1920’s.  The first regular services in the new sanctuary of Riverside Baptist Church were held on Easter Sunday, 1926.

In October of 2022, Riverside Baptist Church’s congregation voted that the church should be known as Riverside Church at Park & King to reflect our identity as a community of people that welcomes all: the certain and the doubtful; the excluded and the included; rich, poor and in between; divorced, partnered, single and widowed; atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish or Nothing; straight, LGBTQIA+; African-American, Asian, Latino, White; citizens and guests.