Confessional Church in Jacksonville, Fl...

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raydixon9

Puritan Board Freshman
Moving to Jacksonville, Fl folks. Will y'all please give me some ideas on churches? I can google(and have) but there are plenty for me to choose from over there. I can live anywhere in the area so my first beacon of where to live is where I attend church. I just thought y'all might be able to help.

I hold to the WCF. I'm currently a deacon in a PCA church and staunchly Presbyterian(Presbyterian not necessarily PCA) until Christ/Scripture changes me. I prefer, but am not limited to, a more traditional church(I guess that's why I am asking on PB).

Thanks for your help,
Ray
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I haven't kept up recently, but when I looked a few years back, Ortega Presbyterian (PCA) was my recommendation. http://ortegapres.com/

There are a scattering of PCA churches, a number of ECO, and that's probably about it. There was an ARP church, but I didn't spot it on their current directory.

One other point - do you know which side of the river you are going to be on? Getting from one side to the other is not fun, nor particularly easy.

Special Warning: Riverside Presbyterian (PCUSA) is 'affirming' for homosexuals. Avoiding the PCUSA should go without saying at this point, but I'll say it anyway.

I recommend visits to Trent's (across from the Naval Air Station) and Singleton's (near the Mayport Naval Base). Singleton's has better ambiance,
but the food is great at Trent's. Also, Whitey's Fish camp at Fleming Island - it's been a good while since I've been to that one.
 
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jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I recall visiting a PCA church near Jacksonville and just remember it as a generic, large church. North of there, the Savannah River Presbytery has some excellent folks.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
as a generic, large church
Probably not Ortega - they show two preachers, two elders, and two deacons. Christ Church in Mandarin is going to be pretty good sized.

The closest one in Georgia is going to be in Brunswick. The folks in Southeast Georgia haven't been very enthusiastic about church planting.
 

raydixon9

Puritan Board Freshman
Savannah is way too far...Edward, don't discount the fine folks in Valdosta, GA that have planted a church. All the ladies, the preacher, the elders, and deacons(save one) are top notch! ;)
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
don't discount the fine folks in Valdosta, GA that have planted a church.
I went back to check what I had written. I specified Southeast Georgia (that would be Savannah River) not South Georgia. 'Dosta is in Central Georgia Presbytery (which probably should be renamed Southwest Georgia ;)). So I excluded you all. Although I do remember a locally initiated failed effort in Bainbridge some years ago.

I just noticed that there was a 'No Man's Land strip of counties between Savannah River and Central Georgia. I can understand a couple of them where there are a lot more gators than people, but some of the northern ones are inhabited.
http://www.pcaac.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Presbytery-Map-abbr-inc-2017-GA.jpg
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Savannah River formed out of Central Georgia after a bunch of church plants flourished. I believe Augusta was the only church to come out of the old denomination. Independence became a big brother after Terry Johnson moved there. The plants were sown in tough soil in an area dominated by dispensational, credobaptist, semi-pelagian thinking.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I have known Dan Clay, one of the pastors at Ortega, for almost 20 years. A good, solid, and confessional man. I would have to imagine the other pastor would be so as well. That would be my recommendation.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
There is talk about replanting there
I haven't studied the area closely, but looking at the map and adding in recollections that may be out of date, it looks like either the Arlington area, Mandarin, or Orange Park would be a better bet than the downtown location.

Although with the number of yankees that move to Florida, it might be more fertile territory for the OPC. In any event, there should be room for more conservative churches in the largest city in the Southeast. Most of the recent PCUSA church departures went ECO; there isn't an EPC presence in Jacksonville as I recall, so there is a lot of room for expansion.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
I second the comment on Dan Clay; he's sound in doctrine and a good man! I did not know he is presently at Ortega in Jacksonville (the city of my nativity), but then there's a whole lot I do not know about many things.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I haven't studied the area closely, but looking at the map and adding in recollections that may be out of date, it looks like either the Arlington area, Mandarin, or Orange Park would be a better bet than the downtown location.

Although with the number of yankees that move to Florida, it might be more fertile territory for the OPC. In any event, there should be room for more conservative churches in the largest city in the Southeast. Most of the recent PCUSA church departures went ECO; there isn't an EPC presence in Jacksonville as I recall, so there is a lot of room for expansion.
Yes. The church was an intentional "ethnic" church plant which never took off. There was talk before it closed of moving to a more fertile area of town (whatever that may mean), but the people who were going there balked at that idea.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes. The church was an intentional "ethnic" church plant which never took off. There was talk before it closed of moving to a more fertile area of town (whatever that may mean), but the people who were going there balked at that idea.
I understand the model, and it sometimes even works. But generally it looks better on paper than it does on the ground. I know of 3 efforts around Dallas. One started with a Mexican preacher, another with a Black preacher. All 3 have a white preacher now. Two can be called successful (although not exactly matching the original model), the third never has gotten off the ground. They are trying another one with an Hispanic pastor. We will see. Meanwhile, I can point to about a dozen successful plants using the old model (or, if you prefer, the 'more fertile area of town'.

I really think that some of these efforts should be treated as foreign missions rather than domestic church plants.

Getting back to your point - it looks like the PCA is trying to fill that same hole in Jacksonville with Christ Church InTown. "uncommon fellowship made up of people of different races, socio-economic groups, and cultures."
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
We know a PCA guy in Fla ( non pastor staff) who is Federal Vision. Check things out carefully.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
or 20 minutes from the southern border of the city limits:
Or about an hour from the northern part of town. It looks to be about 25 miles from the 295/95 interchange. Doable if one lived that far south. But as I've mentioned on other threads, there are real disadvantages to living that far from church in a major city.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Yes. The church was an intentional "ethnic" church plant which never took off. There was talk before it closed of moving to a more fertile area of town (whatever that may mean), but the people who were going there balked at that idea.
I understand the model, and it sometimes even works. But generally it looks better on paper than it does on the ground.
Something related along these lines recently crossed my desk and is worth a read:

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/churches-reaching-hispanics-need-know/
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Or about an hour from the northern part of town. It looks to be about 25 miles from the 295/95 interchange. Doable if one lived that far south. But as I've mentioned on other threads, there are real disadvantages to living that far from church in a major city.
Jacksonville is the largest city in the country (well, excluding Alaska) by area. My point is that the OPC isn't that far depending on where you live, and he's deciding partially where to live based on the church situation. It might be easy to split the distance and live fifteen minutes from both work and church in theory, but I don't know where in Jacksonville he'll be and what traffic is like during rush hour (I just drove through yesterday and it was fine, but that was Saturday).
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
but I don't know where in Jacksonville he'll be and what traffic is like during rush hour
By Dallas standards, my experience is that traffic isn't bad - unless you need to get across the river. Signage isn't great, either, but is probably ok for the locals.

As for St. Augustine, I've known of folks who have commuted from there to work in Jacksonville, but it isn't something I'd like to do long-term. On the other hand, a large part of the Jacksonville Schools are really bad. Options are home school, private school, or living pretty far out.
 
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