OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Historical Society has been awarded a Community Project Grant from Florida Humanities in the amount of $1,250 to support our proposed project, “Gimme That Old Time Religion."
When the Historical Society entered into an agreement with the City of Okeechobee to develop the historic 1923 Okeechobee Primitive Baptist Church on Thirrd Avenue into a museum, we wanted to do something to recognize the history of some of our churches that were part of the earliest days of our community.
In 1937, the Federal Works Project Administration sent a gentleman to Okeechobee to record the basic histories of the churches that were active at that time. Since the Primitive Baptist is the oldest church in our county, it is only fitting that we do something there concerning the history of churches. Our proposal to the Humanities Council was to make a series of banners that contain the written history as well as photographs that pertain to the historic churches and hang them in the sanctuary.
We have a committee that is charged with collecting histories, photos, memorabilia from the churches but would also welcome any community member who may have something they would wish for us to include. We particularly welcome photos from the early days. The committee consists of Dr. Michelle Carrigan of IRSC, Humanities Department Chair; Rev. Loy Mershimer, Pastor of the Okeechobee Presbyterian Church; Magi Cable, President of the Okeechobee Historical Society; Kay McCool and Jeanne Enfinger. If you have something for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You may email email@example.com or deliver items to the museum at 1850 US Hwy 98 N on Thursday’s between 9:30 am and 1:00 pm or mail to the Historical Society at P.O. Box 973, Okeechobee, Fl 34973.
The churches that are listed were established between 1915 and 1933 and are, in no particular order, Church of Our Saviour; First Baptist Church; First United Methodist Church; Sacred Heart Catholic Church; Okeechobee Primitive Baptist Church; St. Stephens Methodist AME Church; Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church; Church of God; Grace Brethren Church; Seventh Day Adventist Church and Okeechobee Presbyterian.
We anticipate the completion of this project by May 2023 which is the 104th anniversary of the original establishment of the Primitive Baptist and the 100th Anniversary of the current building that will house this history.