The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

In 1889, four communicants gathered on the shores of Lake Worth to establish an Episcopal mission, which today is known as the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. In response to a request from the Rt. Rev. E. Gardner Weed, D.D., Bishop of Florida, the Rev. Joseph N. Mulford, rector at Christ Church, Troy, New York, volunteered to travel to a tiny island community then known as Lake Worth, on the eastern of the eponymous body of water, to establish a mission in South Florida and built a small, simple wooden structure to house a seasonal congregation, accessible only by boat from the mainland across the lake. A second structure, slightly north of the first and still extant, was consecrated in 1896 and housed the congregation until 1925. In 1925, through the vision of Canon James Townsend Russell of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington and Rector of Bethesda, the congregation began, construction of the current building in the iconic structure in which we worship today.

The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea is a community of people from all walks of life discovering the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. We gather throughout the week to hear the sacred stories of God’s love and to be nourished in word and sacrament. Then, inspired by our fellowship, we strive to make God’s love a living reality in our lives every day.

Rector & Associates

Assisting Clergy & Staff


141 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida 33480 | (561) 655-4554

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