Introduction

Relocate, Restore Bunnell’s 1916 Seventh Day Adventist Church is a new effort

Relocate, Restore Bunnell’s 1916 Seventh Day Adventist Church is a new effort

Bunnell, FL – The Flagler County Historical Society (FCHS), together with American Association of University Women (AAUW) Flagler County Branch, is pleased to announce the latest in what is soon to become a sustained effort to elevate the historic reputation of Bunnell and Flagler County and strengthen the presence of each as a tourism destination.

1916 Church – photo Sisco Deen

Thanks to a fortuitous trip to Espanola, the 1916 Seventh Day Adventist Church of Bunnell was rediscovered. Facebook images of this discovery helped connect more dots with a research project by AAUW Flagler. It was soon learned Mrs. Alice Scott Abbott, a local suffragist from Bunnell, was the Music Director for not only the Bunnell Methodist Church, but, for the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Bunnell. Research underscores the importance of the church as a foundation from which women not only addressed issues confronting their communities, it also provided women a platform from which to advocate for suffrage.

Present Church Structure almost intact – photo James Dean Fiske

Members of the FCHS and AAUW Flagler presented before the Flagler Board of County Commission, September 9, 2020. They outlined their plan to relocate the church to Bunnell, next to the Holden House Museum, restore it, rededicate it, and reimagine it as The Florida Women’s Voting Rights Museum. The goal is to showcase Flagler County’s Suffrage history, provide for state and national suffrage exhibits, and establish an income generating venue for organizational meetings, special events, and educational opportunities such as school field trips. It is hoped where AAUW Flagler’s research ends, others will take up the charge to continue to learn more about Flagler’s Suffrage history and tell her story for generations to come.

Interior of the 1916 Seventh Day Adventist Church – from The Bunnell Home Builder newspaper, June 1917

Author: Bill Ryan