Genealogical Society of South Brevard County Florida
Genealogical Society of South Brevard
Genealogical Society of
South Brevard
P.O. Box 786
Melbourne, Florida
32902-0786
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Saint Luke's Parish Episcopal Church Cemetery AKA Courtenay
(Central Brevard County)
5555 N. Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32953 USA
(321) 452-5260
 
St. Luke's Episcopal Church and Cemetery is a historic Carpenter Gothic style Episcopal church building built in 1888 and its adjacent cemetery located at 5555 North Tropical Trail, in Courtenay, on Merritt Island, Brevard County. On June 15, 1990, St. Luke's and its cemetery were added to the National Register of Historic Places as Old St. Luke's Episcopal Church and Cemetery. The cemetery is sometimes referred to as the Courtenay Cemetery.  Courtenay is an unincorporated community on Merritt Island, settled in the 1870's and 1880's by people from Charleston, South Carolina, named for William Ashmead Courtenay, a native of Charleston and Confederate veteran, and later Mayor of Charleston. There is a FL Historic Site Marker at this site which reads: 
 
ST. LUKE'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Courtenay was formed by the Porcher, LaRoche, Sams and other families that settled on north Merritt Island after leaving the Charleston, South Carolina area in 1875 due to the loss of their homes and plantations during the Civil War. The first services were held in 1879 in a store building on the bank of the Indian River. In 1888, Edward Porcher donated property for the site of St. Lukes Episcopal Church. It was built with a $600 donation from Lucy Boardman of New Haven, Connecticut, along with the donated labor of parishioners. The Florida Gothic style, common architecture for Episcopal churches in Florida at the time, was a board and batten wooden 600-square-foot structure built of locally milled hand-planed island pine and cypress with a steep gabled roof and square bell tower. During the early years, the church did not have a vicar. Ministers from churches in Cocoa and Titusville traveled by boat to hold monthly services, while members led the weekly services. The chapel is still used for mid-week and special services. The church is surrounded on three sides by an historic cemetery. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. 
(Florida Historical Marker #F-574, Florida Dept. of State, by The Brevard County Historical Commission, 2003)