the oldest church building located in what is now Martin County, Florida.
In 1895, the people of the community came together and built the first church in Potsdam that was renamed Stuart in the same year. “This little painted white church and red roof with a tall steeple attracted people from miles around. It was the church for the whole community whatever their denomination, as it was the only church here,” wrote Mrs. John E. Taylor (Sara Josephine Kitching) in her article on the history of the first Methodist Episcopal Church in Stuart.
The building of the first community church still stands in historic Downtown Stuart, only without its steeple, which was removed somewhere between 1915 and 1920. The Florida Master Site File, the State of Florida’s official inventory of historical, cultural resources, lists the following state-assigned site ID number for the historical structure recorded at 311 Southwest 3rd Street, in Stuart, Martin County, Florida: MT00346.
Robert and Olga Hamilton, current owners of the historic building, have a mission to restore the steeple and preserve the building as a part of Stuart’s history. It is the oldest church building located in what is now Martin County, Florida. But they will not be able to accomplish the restoration without the community’s support. They have registered The 1895 Church of Stuart (DBA) with the Florida Division of Corporations and opened a separate account with the local Seacoast Bank to collect the funds. The 1895 Church of Stuart is not tax exempt, and neither donations to the fund nor purchases from The 1895 Church of Stuart to benefit the fund are tax deductible. Though the private projects are not obligated to have any board or committee, The 1895 Church of Stuart Restoration project has a voluntary committee to supervise the restoration project.
We greatly appreciate your donation!
The 1895 Church of Stuart is and Art Studio and Gallery also offers marketing services for business at the events and projects hosted by The 1895 Church of Stuart. The proceeds from sales and services benefit the historic building fund. Please contact Olga Hamilton: firstname.lastname@example.org; (772) 708-2968
Please follow us on Facebook – The 1895 Church of StuArt – for updates on the upcoming events and reports on our restoration progress. www.facebook.com/The1895ChurchOfStuArt
The owners of the historic building contact:
Robert W. Hamilton, Jr. and Olga Hamilton
In 1932, the building of the first community church was dedicated and named St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
Olga Hamilton donated her special edition artwork titled ‘Gathering at the First Community Church’ to Stuart Main Street. The artwork was auctioned off by KC Daniel of Associate Auctions, a second generation auctioneer, J.D., Florida Real Estate Broker, to raise funds for Stuart Main Street. A Big Thank You to Diane Freaney of Freaney & Company LLC dba Rooted Investing for the highest bid on this special piece of art! The original classic pen and ink drawing is available for sale to benefit The 1895 Church of Stuart Restoration.