Built in authentic Spanish Renaissance-style architecture with massive walls of coquina concrete, Grace United Methodist Church along with the Ponce De Leon Hotel, is among the first major examples of a structure exploiting the possibilities of mass concrete construction since Roman times.
The Methodist congregation began meeting in the parlors of the Old Parlor House Hotel in 1881, but soon first pastor, Rev. Samuel Payne, raised funds for a church building. In winter 1884, construction began on the Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church building on the corner of Cordova and King streets.
Industrialist Henry Flagler had other plans, however.
In constructing the regal Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College), Flagler envisioned a courtyard surrounded by three of his hotels. To accomplish this, he would need the land where the Olivet Church stood. A deal was struck in which Flagler agreed to build a church and parsonage in exchange for the Olivet Church and on which it stood. The proposal was accepted and building on Grace United Methodist Church began in 1886.
Listed on the National Record of Historic Places, public tours are available (TK tour info). For information, call 904-829-8272.