Jacksonville, Fla., celebrated its Christian heritage on Tuesdayâ€”a heritage many in the U.S. have never heard about.
On May 1, 1562, Jean Ribault sailed into what is now called the St. Johnâ€™s River in Jacksonville. He named it The River of May. He met with the indigenous, Mocama-speaking Timucua Indians on the North side of the river and claimed the land for France by placing a stone onto the ground in her honor.
What many donâ€™t know is that Ribault was a French Huguenot. Jacksonville City Council woman Kimberly Daniels, who also pastors Spoken Word Ministries in Jacksonville, helped her city celebrate its spiritual heritage. She calls Florida the â€śFirst Coastâ€ť state.â€ť
Daniels points to historical documents that prove that on June 30, 1564, the Huguenots declared a day of thanksgiving and offered the first Protestant prayer in America at Fort Caroline: â€śWe sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto ...