James Page (minister)

James Page (Minister)

James Page (minister)

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James Page born in 1808 died March 14, 1883 was an African-American minister.


James Page was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1808 as a slave.

About 1838 John Parkhill brought James and his wife came to Leon County, Florida. Colonel John H. Parkhill owned Belair Plantation. Page was a gardener, carriage driver as well as a body servant to his owner. Parkhill would influence Page to take up the ministry.

In 1851 at Newport, Florida, a white, Baptist minister ordained James Page as Florida’s first and only African-American minister at that time. After his ordination, John Parkhill gave him land for the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church of Belair, Florida, the first regularly organized black church in Florida.

From 1865 and 1870, Reverend Page organized the Bethel Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida.


Page served as a Leon County delegate to the Republican Convention in 1867. He was also a Leon County commissioner from 1869 to 1870 and legislative chaplain of the Florida Senate from 1868 to 1870. In 1870 he ran unsuccessfully for State Senate, but returned to public office in 1872 when Governor Hart appointed him as Leon County’s Justice of the Peace.

Reverend James Page died March 14, 1883. His Great Floridian plaque is located at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, 3945 Museum Drive, Tallahassee.


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