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Holy Eucharist Rite I Sunday 8:00 am
Haines City, FL

Fair, 65 F

     Sunny. High: 66 Low: 42
     Sunny. High: 61 Low: 40
     Mostly Sunny. High: 70 Low: 47
     Partly Cloudy. High: 71 Low: 47
     Partly Cloudy. High: 71 Low: 55
  • Pentecost - Acts 2:3
  • Some of our 8 a.m. worshipers
  • Some of our 10 a.m. worshipers
  • Our new building, built behind our original chapel!
  • Our chapel is the perfect place for your wedding! Click image for more info.

Welcome to St. Mark's Episcopal Church!

Thank you for visiting our redesigned website, where you will find information concerning our church and its ministries. Feel free to browse through the various areas of our website and learn about our fellowship.

At St. Mark’s, you will experience a community of love.  We are focused on nurturing and strengthening the lives of all individuals of faith through fellowship and prayerful concern for each other.  Many lives have been molded and shaped for wholesome living, and are now pointing to this place with pride and gratitude.

If you are considering a new place of worship, or a relocation to the our area, we would love to have you be our guest. You will experience a place for:

  • Guidance as you seek Jesus Christ in your spiritual walk.
  • Help with your daily struggles.
  • Sharing stories of the goodness in your life.
  • Everyone, at any age and stage in life.

You are always welcomed here at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church!

Yours for the building up of God's kingdom,

Fr. Chris Brathwaite ~ Rector


Contact Us  
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
102 North 9th St.
Haines City, Florida 33844
Telephone: 863-422-1416
Email Us
Regular Schedule  
  • PARISH OFFICE HOURS: Tues.-Thur., 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For appointments with Fr. Chris, please call 407-873-3838
  • THRIFT STORE HOURS: Tues.- Fri., 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. For more information, please call 863-353-1536.
  • 8:00 AM
    Holy Eucharist Rite I
  • 9:10 AM
    Sunday School (for all ages)
  • 10:00 AM
    Holy Eucharist Rite II
  • 11:00 AM
    Bible Study
  • 12:15 PM
    Healing Prayer Service (Holy Eucharist)
Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration to the Priesthood


Canon Downs was born in Corn Island, Nicaragua, on Jan. 28, 1936; lived his young years attending St. James Anglican School in Corn Island and later St. Mark’s Anglican School in Bluefields, Nicaragua.

In 1952 he moved to Panama where he continued his studies and became a CPA and earned his BA at La Universidad Nacional de Panama.  He worked on the Panama Canal Zone until 1959 when he felt called to the ordained ministry and left to attend El Seminario Episcopal del Caribe in Carolina, Puerto Rico where he earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.).  He was ordained to the Diaconate on 6/20/64, and to the Sacred Priesthood on 01/16/65 in the Diocese of Panama.  His post-graduate education and training consist of the following: Urban Community Organization at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Clinical Pastoral Education at N.I.H in Washington, DC. He is also a member of many professional organizations, e.g. the Association of Mental Health Clergy; Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.; Planned Parenthood, the Episcopal Clergy Association, the Urban League, and U.B.E.  Father Downs was instituted a Canon of the Catedral El Buen Pastor in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 1990.

Canon Downs had been very active in the total life of the Dioceses of Panama, Ohio and Washington, DC, and the wider National Church; he served on the Standing Committee, the Diocesan Council, Central America Committee; Chairperson of the Companion Diocesan Relationship Committee with Honduras and the Province of Cape Town, South Africa; Washington National Cathedral Pinnacle Committee, Co-Chair of the Diocesan Peace Commission; Co-Chair of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs; Deputy to General Convention, and the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns.

Canon Downs’ employment history includes a CPA position with the Government of Panama; Migrant Ministry Organizer with the Delaware Council of Churches.  He served as Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church By-the-Sea in Colon, Panama; Assistant and Urban Organizer at St. Andrew’s and Emmanuel Episcopal Parishes, Cleveland, Ohio; Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio; Bilingual Chaplain, CPE Supervisor and CPE Training Officer with NIH and the DC Commission on Mental Health Services, St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC; and Rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC, from 1986 until his retirement in 2006.  Canon Downs is the “Rector Emeritus” of St. Timothy’s Parish. On May 10, 1995, due to a congenital heart condition, he received a heart transplant and the new heart came from one of his parishioners, Dawn Alexander. He is an outstanding pastor, pastoral counselor, administrator, organizer, trainer, crisis interventionist, preacher and canonical scholar.

Canon Downs has received many honors over the many years of his ministry, including the J. Campbell Award for Excellence in Urban Ministry; the N.O.A.H Award for Outstanding Community Leadership.  He is justly proud of the Absalom Jones Award given by the Union of Black Episcopalians, in 1995, recognizing his “31 years of compassionate leadership and spiritual ministry in the world.”

Canon Downs is married to the former Ana J. Byron Rivera of Carolina, Puerto Rico (whom he met while he was studying theology!); they are the proud parents of two sons, James Alexander (“Alex”) and Roberto Josue (“Josh”).  He has been a very loving, caring, devoted, dependable, responsible and reliable husband, father, role model and friend.  He is highly respected, admired and loved by his love ones and the hundreds of persons whose life he has touched as a pastor, mentor, and role model, teacher and friend.

By Ana Jo Downs


Our Historic Chapel is Perfect for Your Wedding

Our original chapel is available for the wedding ceremony of members of any Christian denomination.  It's quaint beauty and historical significance make it the perfect place to say "I Do!"

For more information, please click here.

Bible Study at New Time

The first Bible Study in the new year will be on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, at 11:00 am.

Not sure of the readings?

Access the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) online at