Ocoee Christian Church, Orlando, FL


The Ocoee Christian Church is located on Bluford Avenue in Ocoee, Florida. This church was built in 1891 and is the oldest Christian Church in continual use in the State of Florida.

The land was donated by Captain Bluford Sims, the money to build the church donated by General William T. Withers. General Withers died before the church was completed, but his family saw to it that it was completed as he had designed it.

The church has remained a pillar to the Christian community since its completion over one hundred years ago. The popularity of the church blossomed around the turn of the century as people form neighboring communities came to attend church at the simple church. Although considered simple by our standards today, the church was an architectural masterpiece in its first days.

ocoee christian church, orlando

 Very few towns had the extra funding to build a church like the Ocoee Christian Church and it is credited for reaching out to the smaller more rural communities its gospel word. The actual town of Ocoee has a history of its own. The settlement of Ocoee began when Dr. J. D. Starke led a group of slaves into the area in the mid 1850s. Many of the men, including Starke, were stricken with malaria and hoped by moving they could escape further outbreaks. They established a camp along the northern shores of a lake with open pine woods and found that the clear, clean water did indeed bring them better health. So Starke and his slaves worked in the fields near Lake Apopka during the day and retired to this haven at night.

It was around this area in which the community of Starke Lake began to grow. Though the town would eventually change its name, the lake which brought such good health to the man who originally settled here still bears his name - Starke Lake. Since these early beginnings, the town has blossomed into one of the most visitor friendly areas in the Orlando area. This is the perfect place to go and spend some time with your family, away from the crowded area of the city. The area offers many different historical sites and is definitely worth an afternoon of your time. Every year a Founderís Day celebration kicks off around October. This celebration remembers the great men and women that helped make the town what it is today. Here is where you will find all of the old time stories about the Ocoee Christian Church and all the other historical sites around Ocoee.