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A Glorious Church | Photo © 2012 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com

A Glorious Church

Location Class:
Built: 1926 | Abandoned: 1993
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (December 6, 1990)
Status: Restored
Photojournalist: David Bulit

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First Baptist Church, 1920s. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

The First Baptist Church congregation built its first church at the corner of E. Tarpon and Ring Avenues. Dr. Dee Diamandis, a local physician, bought the old church and converted it into a house. The congregation moved to the corner of Read and Canal Streets in 1926, where they constructed the building which would later be known as A Glorious Church.

Richard J. Boeckl purchased the building in the early 1970s and throughout the following years, several congregations would rent it out, the last being A Glorious Church whose sign hung on the facade of the building for many years. In 1993, a storm flooded its ground floor with three feet of water and destroyed portions of the roof. Doing his best to maintain the building, Boeckl was interested at one point in transforming the building into a condominium, but those plans never came to fruition.

In 2017, his son Andrew Boeckl, now the owner of the old church building, had it remodeled into his own personal residence. The home is part of the Tarpon Springs Historic District which is bounded by Read Street, Hibiscus Street, Orange Street, Levis Avenue, Lemon Street, and Spring Bayou and contains 145 historic buildings. On December 6, 1990, the district was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

A Glorious Church | Photo © 2012 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com
The church before its transformation into a house

David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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