In 1562, Jean Ribault, seeking a location in the new world for a colony of Huguenots from France, discovered the St. Johns River. He went ashore on Batten Island at the mouth of the river, where he and his party united in a prayer of thanksgiving for the safe journey across the sea. This seems to have been the first service of the Protestant faith in North America. Leaving a marker of possession at the mouth of the river, on the south side, Ribault sailed northward along the coast. Near Port Royal, South Carolina, he left a small party of men and set sail for France to bring over the colony. Upon his arrival he found civil war raging and a delay of two years was experienced in sending the colonists to America. In the meantime, the men at Port Royal abandoned the post and most of them eventually returned to France.
Davis, T. Frederick
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 12
, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol12/iss2/5