Digging up the oldest church in the nation in St. Augustine

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Raphael Cosme reported to Historic City News that Archaeologist Kathleen Deagan and her team are excavating a section of grounds at the Mission of Nombre De Dios that could be the exact location where the oldest church in the nation once stood.

“This is an important find,” Deagan said. “Last summer, some of the church’s stones showed up near the surface, and then we rescued a 17th century kaolin pipe fragment at the site.”

Throughout the last four decades, in collaboration with the Florida Museum of Natural History, Deagan has followed her instincts. If she is right this time, she has found the first stone church in the United States; certainly, the largest church in Florida during the 17th century.

“We went deep, with a pit three by three meters, and found a section of the church foundation,” Degan said. “The team is opening it up, where the dividing interior walls meet the outer foundation, to try and better understand how it was constructed and when it was built.”...

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