McIntosh has four historic churches within its town boundaries and a fifth church located just outside town limits. Church history and heritage has been well documented by congregation members.
The Christian Church of McIntosh
5845 Avenue E The Christian Church of McIntosh was started on January 30, 1898 with 22 charter members. Rev. Charles E. Powell, Evangelist, was the organizing minister of the church. By February 20, 1898 when the Sunday school was organized, 15 more members had joined the church. Prior to building the church, meetings were held in an adjacent school house, which had been located next door in those early years. A building committee was appointed in 1903, and the white clapboard church sanctuary was completed and dedicated on January 31, 1904. Very little of the church building has changed in its 109 years. The heart pine floor, wainscot, ceiling, plaster walls, pulpit, and pine pews are original to the church. Much of the colored glass in the windows is also original. Electricity was added, and much later a modern heating and cooling system and a baptistery were installed. A newly completed educational building was dedicated on the Church’s 50th anniversary, January 31, 1954. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 25, 1998. Several hundred well-wishers from the community, friends, and 3 former pastors attended the anniversary homecoming. The McIntosh Christian Church is the only church in Town with an open bell tower, and the bell is still rung each Sunday morning prior to start of the weekly service. The church holds services each Sunday morning at 11:00 am with Sunday School preceding services at 10:00 am. Wednesday night prayer and bible study starts at 7:00 pm.
The Community Presbyterian Church
20098 North U. S. Hwy. 441 – (352) 591-3663 www.mcintoshcpc.com The Community Presbyterian Church building is our newest church having been built in 1989 and standing on a historic piece of property which was once an orange grove. The property where the church is located was known as Christian’s Hill, having been named after one of McIntosh’s early founders. This church of seventy members was originally founded in the home of a town resident prior to moving to the small building beside the current church. Pastor Scott Simmons holds services at 11 am on Sunday mornings and Bible Study each Sunday evening at 6 pm.
The First Baptist Church of McIntosh
6030 Avenue F – (352) 591-3253 The First Baptist Church of McIntosh opened upon completion of construction in July
1903 with thirty-three charter members. The church was the first church actually built in McIntosh. The beautiful stained glass window to the right of the entry was a gift from the Christian Family. Prior to the opening, McIntosh Baptists worshipped at the nearby Orange Lake Baptist Church, which was known at that time as the Lockbi Baptist church. The first Sunday school was held in 1890 under the trees in Van Ness Park, having been sponsored by the McCormack Neal family. The first pastor was Rev. A. L. Priso, followed by Rev. E. B. Boyer, Rev. Charles Millican, Rev. Raymond L. Estes, and Rev. Pearson. In the early days of the church, services were held once a month, expanding to twice/month in 1934, and weekly in 1942. The Sunday school rooms behind the sanctuary were added in 1938 and the pastorium was built in 1951. Stained-glass windows were installed in 1968. Pastor Ken Gibson holds two services on Sundays at 11 am and 6 pm as well as Wednesday night worship at 6 pm. Sunday morning Bible Study is scheduled for 10:00 am.
The McIntosh Presbyterian Church
5825 Avenue F – (352) 591-1661 The McIntosh Presbyterian Church was built in 1907. The church was organized on
April 26, 1885 and was originally known as the Center Point Church, having been located just north of McIntosh. There is still a cemetery located at that site. Dr. Henry Clay Walkup was the inspiration to locate a Presbyterian church in McIntosh and donated the land where the church now stands. Dr. Walkup was related to William
Henry Belk of the Belk Department store chain, who lived in Charlotte, NC. Mr. Belk was a frequent winter visitor and lent his financial aid in building the church at a cost of about $3,000, according to church records. The building is built of heart pine with some heart cypress. Unfortunately, Dr. Walkup passed away just prior to the official dedication of the newly-built church building. The church name was changed to McIntosh Presbyterian Church on November 11, 1908. This church, with its two rectilinear wings joined on a 45 degree angle, spindle work, and tower is built in the late
American Victorian style. The sanctuary was graced with the benefices of the William R. Brown family. The interior of the sanctuary is distinguished by the lovely art stained glass windows. The oak pulpit furniture is of the East Lake Period, the carving of the pew arms is reminiscent of churches built at this time. The woodwork in the ceiling and
the chandeliers are also points of interest. At the back of the sanctuary, hanging on the wall is the McIntosh plaid. In 1943, again with the financial aid of Mr. Belk and W. R. Brown, a pastor’s study, Sunday school room, fellowship hall, kitchen, and lavatories were added.
The McIntosh United Methodist Church
20632 8th Street – (352) 591-2736 – The McIntosh United Methodist Church was founded by the Reverend W. S Richardson with 27 members on September 8, 1885. Parishioners met for services in the Center Point Presbyterian Church (near current Boardman) until construction of the sanctuary was completed in 1888. The McIntosh Methodist Church was the first church building in McIntosh, having been moved 1 1/2 miles from the Center Point area. In the fall of 1894, a contract was signed with Mr. Arnsut of Orlando to move the one-room structure to its current location using a windlass, ‘one little black mule’, church volunteers, and cut log rollers. In spite of skeptical unbelievers and getting stuck across the frozen creek bed for 3 weeks, Mr. Arnsut completed the move in February 1895. Despite the long journey, the Church steeple remained intact and no cracks were found in the plaster or windows. Church records indicate that services were held in the church during the move. All denominations in McIntosh worshiped in this building for several years until the other churches were erected. Rev. Casey Hickman presides over services each Sunday morning at 9:45, with Sunday School starting at 11:00 am.