First Churches

(A section of the NICEVILLE, FLORIDA - Online History Center)

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
~Proverbs 22:6, King James Bible

Charter Members of Damascus Baptist Church of Boggy Bayou Founded 1910 (Niceville First Baptist Church): R. F. Senterfitt, G. W. Pippins, William Pippins, William Padgett, Mrs. Mary Pippins, D. A. Hicks, Mrs. Nancy Hicks, John Dashinger, Lawrence Allen, Mrs. Lou Armstrong, Mrs. Alice Allen, Mrs. M. S. Edwards, F. L. Garfield, Mrs. T. C. Pippins, J. S. Senterfitt, Mrs. Ada Senterfitt, H. S. Edwards, Grover Dashinger, Mrs. M. M. Dashinger, Mrs. Arkie Allen, Lon Allen, Mrs. Lila Davis, Berket Earley, Mrs. Minnie Garfield and Mrs. Lucy Earley.

Damascus Baptist Church, 1910 ---(Niceville First Baptist Church):  Constituted 1910. Services held in a school building until present, rectangular, white frame building was erected and dedicated November 1911. A quarter-time church, meeting 2nd Sunday. Present membership, 106. Active organizations, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union. First settled pastor, Rev. Dan Anderson, 1910; common school education. Present pastor, Rev. C. L. Perry, 1939 - , Baker. Church Records, 1915 - , 2 vols. Showing minutes of meetings, register of members, baptisms, deaths, financial records. Custody of clerk, Miss Bertia Senterfeitt, Niceville. Sunday School Records 1937 -, 1 vol. Showing membership, attendance, collections. Custody of secretary, Miss Ruby Helms, Niceville. Woman's Missionary Society Records 1938 -, 1 vol. Showing minutes of business meetings, roll of membership, reports of attendance, collections. Custody of secretary, Deliah Senterfeitt, Niceville. (Source: West Florida Early Baptist Churches - Nancy S. Bell Inventory of the Church Archives - Pensacola Public Library)

Boggy News:

"Our Sunday school continues in attendance and we hope not to lose our efficient Superintendent and Secretary from our midst.

Rev. Stock, of Destin, will fill his regular appointment here Sunday. All are cordially invited to attend each service.” (The Breeze 07/14/1910)

Minutes of Damacus Baptist Church of Boggy, April 29, 1911:

Minutes of Damascus Baptist Church

Niceville Methodist Episcopal Church South, Constituted October 8, 1913 - Charter Members: Among the charter members of the Niceville Methodist Church: Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Nathey, Mrs. R. A. Burlison, Mrs. G. B. Anchors, Addie Willingham, Mary Richardson, Della Rushing, Lucia Early, Sarah Howell, Mary Allen, Lucy Grantham, Mary Spence, Ida Ervin, Nettie Owens, Lola Erwin, Winford Spence, Mr. and Mrs. John Dashinger, Lou Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hudson, Quinnie Nathey, Alice Allen, D. S. Davis, J. S. Allen, Carrie Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Fisher, Amanda Thomas and S. J. Ervin. They were baptized in Juniper Creek (Note: Juniper Creek is also called Turkey Creek and located on the Nathey Homestead.) (Source: History of Niceville United Methodist Church)

Niceville Methodist Episcopal Church: (Source: State Archives Church Inventory, 1938)

Church State Survey for UMCN

Photos of some Niceville Methodist Church 1913 Charter Members: Photo on left below of William John Nathey and his wife Mary Jane (Bolton) Nathey. Photo upper right is the Bolton sisters, Rebecca Ann (Mrs. Simeon Burlison) and Mary Jane (Mrs. William John Nathey). Photo lower left is of Quinnie Nathey, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Nathey, (with her nephew Austin Nathey). Photo center below is of Pearl (Burlison) Anchors, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Simeon Burlison (with her husband G.B. Anchors).

William John and Rebecca Bolton Nathey

Bolton sisters Quinnie Nathey and Nephew Austin Nathey


Mr. & Mrs. G.B. Anchors


"Rev. Brown filled his regular appointment here Saturday night and Sunday.

Mr. Hightower of Bolton, attended preaching here Sunday.

We are glad to say our Sunday School is progressing nicely. There were one hundred and one present Sunday."

Graves Baptist Associational Monthly Statistical Letter from Damascus Baptist Church, September 11, 1915

Baptist Association Letter Sept. 11, 1915

Niceville: "Rev. Arnett of Crestview filled his regular appointment here Saturday night and Sunday." (Okaloosa News 08/18/1916)

"Mr. W. N. Hartgrove of Garniers made a speech at the Shaw and Sessions store Saturday night.

Rev. Brown of Freeport, came up from Niceville, on the daily car Monday evening, on his way back to Freeport, where he filled his regular appointment at that place. While here he stated that Niceville was soon to erect a new Methodist Church, hurrah! for the smart and industrious people of that place.

Rev. Brown filled his regular appointment here Saturday and Sunday which made his two years as our pastor. He has done good work here and will be glad if we have him next year." (Okaloosa News 11/10/1916)


"Everybody seems to enjoy the all day sing at the Baptist Church Sunday very much.

Rev. Arnett of Crestview filled his regular appointment here Sunday. Samuel Arnett and Osie Alford of Crestview attended the singing and preaching Sunday morning.

We learn that a nice Methodist Church is soon to be erected in our little burg, which will add much to the looks of our city." (Okaloosa News 11/17/1916)

Niceville: "The ladies of Niceville have changed their Prayer Meeting from Wednesday evening to Friday evening, and we wish their continue in success." (Okaloosa News Journal 11/30/1917)

Destin: "Fishing has been very poor the past week, there being only about 13,000 pounds of mackerel and 2,000 of Sea Salmon caught, the entire lot was bought by Mr. Claude Meigs of Niceville. We are very glad to have a market so close by and a man capable of handling our business. Mr. Ralph Williams and crew all went to Niceville for church service Easter and they report a nice trip and good service. Edwin and Charlie Marlow carried Cpt. George S. Marlow to Niceville Sunday evening from which place he went to the county Hub of Okaloosa on some very important business." (Okaloosa News Journal 04/25/1919)

Niceville News: "Forget your troubles and come to the "Tacky Party" at Niceville School Building, Friday night June 27th. The party is for the benefit of the church. Admission 5 cts. Ice Cream Cones 5 cts. Cold drinks 5 cts. Drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die. Cy and Susan Gandershanks with their violins accompanied by Plugmucket at the Piano will furnish good music. A prize is offered for the tackiest man and woman. Come one, come all. Bring your nickels and enjoy your selves and help the church." (The Okaloosa News Journal 06/27/1919)

The Niceville Methodist Church building rebuilt in 1926

(Note: Original Niceville Methodist Church building was completed in 1921 but burned in 1926. Shown above is the completed rebuilt church building.)

Niceville UMC Tent Meeting 1929

State Archives Church Inventory, 08/04/1938 -  Assembly of God of Niceville, constituted in 1931 and church building erected in 1936:  (Note: The Assembly of God church building is located on the Nathey Homestead.)

State Church Resords 1938 AOG

State Archives Church Inventory, 08/05/1938 - Damascus Baptist Church Niceville:

Church State Survey, 1938 FBCN

The Niceville United Methodist Church

(Note: Shown above on bulletin is the church building with additions made in 1949. In 1965 the name of the church was changed from "Niceville Methodist Church" to "First Methodist Church of Niceville".)