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History of Tallahassee First Seventh-day Adventist Church
Church History


History of the First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tallahassee, Florida

Our church had its first beginning in 1922 when an effort was held here.  Three were baptized into the Florida Conference Church.  Sabbath School was held in various homes, with usually fifteen in attendance.  After our church was organized in 1937, we met in the Woodmen of the World hall, then located at the corner of Park Avenue and Adams Street. We had twenty-four charter members and met in a room above the Fire Station on Adams Street, across from the Baptist Church.  In 1942, another effort was held and a "Tabernacle" was built at the corner of Copeland and Lafayette Streets. 

To the delight of church members, a new Seventh-day Adventist hospital was located at the corner of Gadsden and McDaniel Streets. It was called Forsyth Memorial Hospital in honor of Dr. Edna Forsyth, a dental surgeon who funded the hospital.  Dr. William Westcott, a surgeon arrived to serve as the first doctor. 

In 1947, the church purchased three lots across the street from the hospital, at the corner of Gadsden and Johnston Streets, as the location for a new church. In July 1954, members met for the first time in the new church.

In 1962, the need for a separate facility to house our growing church school became evident.  Ten acres were purchased on Hartsfield Road and in 1964 students moved from their current classroom in the basement of the church to their new school, two classrooms and a library.

Gloomy days were ahead for our church members as Forsyth Memorial Hospital closed in 1964. The new Tallahassee Memorial Hospital opened which had taken patients away from Forsyth.

In 1970 there was a need for a larger church building as membership stood at 243, with church school enrollment at 36.  In 1980 it was voted for funds to build a new church on Capital Circle, our current location.  Our Pastor, Clarence Pillsbury, had been a builder before going into the ministry and was instrumental in overseeing the building of the church.  It was a memorable experience when our members met for the first time in our new church, 1982.

Compiled by Ola Joyce
November 8, 2010




Please leave your comments on the history of our church.

2010-12-10 12:00 AM

I drove by the Gadsden Street church a few weeks ago and simply could not believe the changes which have been made to it. A matching two-story brick wing has been added to the left of the front facade. It is still a beautiful building. The old hospital building located across the street has been renovated, but it and the old three- story brick nursing home are still there.

I will try to go back and take and then post some pictures of the church and other buildings-soon.

I believe the car, depicted in the picture posted on the website showing the Gadsden Street church, belonged to the Forest Bishop family. Does anyone know for sure?

As I recall, the Nobrega family had the only air conditioned car when we were growing up. I recall it had two large clear plastic pipes installed on either side of the rear window. And when someone said they had air conditioning I was so young, that I had no idea what they were talking about; I just knew they could ride around with their windows rolled up in the summer heat.

Thanks for the memories,Mrs. Joyce!

Muriel G.
2010-12-28 12:00 AM

Reading this history is so interesting.
When we built our home above the Church School property, our children walked down the hill to school each day - what a blessing! No transportation to school. I remember Syble O. brought Mike each day to school without any absences - quite a record knowing how bad Hartsfield Rd was before paving! Such good memories.