Menendez then named the site Nombre de Dios (Name of God) and set Father Lopez in charge of the Mission. Father Lopez thus became the first pastor of St. Augustine, the first parish priest in this land.
The artist, a native Croatian, Dr. Ivan Mestrovic, intended the rough texture of the surrounding area to signify the tumultuous journey taken by the Spanish to America and to memorialize those who perished on the journey. Dr. Mestrovic's statue portrays Father Lopez in priestly vestments preaching the Gospel. The statue was dedicated on April 13, 1958 with Dr. Mestrovic and his wife in attendance.