Lakeland is known for being home to several historic churches that are more than a century old. Some of the churches in the area have been established even before the city was founded. Each church adds to the magnificent beauty and history of the exciting town.
All Saints' Episcopal Church
This church was established in 1884 which makes it years older than the Lakeland City. It is located in the town of Acton, but following the destruction of crops in the city in the 1890s due to extreme cold, members of the parish were forced to relocate for survival. They gained approval to move to Lakeland. The structural design of the present sanctuary building resembles the Spanish Revival era.
First Presbyterian Church
This 130 –year old church was first established in a community schoolhouse. After two months since its conception, the reverend during that time decided to build a new sanctuary, marking the first church building in the town. After some time, they made a few buildings more to cater to the growing number of members. In 1978, the church with its stained glass windows, once again, opened its doors to the public.
Bethel Baptist Church
It is one of the nation's first churches built in Socrum. In 1863, it immediately became a part of the Alachua Association of the Baptist Church. At present, two sanctuaries still stand as Bethel's house of worship. In 1928, the structure with the Gothic architectural design was finished and became a place where services were held. Until now, the Bethel Baptist Cemetery a burial site that existed before the church still maintains the Civil War.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
The church was first known for holding mass services in Mrs. M.J. Malloy and Mrs. J. Elliston's residence. It was like this for 16years until Mrs. Malloy pledged a building site where the first building was constructed. They began to raise money for the construction of a small church on Missouri Avenue and Lemon Street. In 1936, they held the groundbreaking for the church that we know today. There was a necessity for a new and a bigger area due to the growing number of its congregation. The church was made of brick, iron, and concrete, and is considered fireproof.
First United Methodist Church
Formerly Methodist Episcopal Church South, the First United Methodist Church conduct services in a schoolhouse. A lot was bought for a price of $500, and the building was constructed. Not long after that, it was relocated across the street, and a more prominent structure was erected. Due to their need for a larger area for services, they bought a property at Lake Morton. Click here for more details.
First Baptist Institutional Church
The First Baptist Institutional Church was established at the time when Lakeland was being founded, around the mid-1880s. It was formerly known as St. John's Baptist Church. It was initially made of wood until it was put on fire in 1898. The church cannot hold its growing members due to the limited space which led them to have services outside until they raised enough fund for a new sanctuary.