A Brief History Of Our Church
The Sarasota Seventh-day Adventist Church had its beginning in 1908. A company was formed and meetings were held in the home of John Bishop. This home was located across the street from the John Ringling Towers Hotel. Mr. Bishop was a fisherman by trade and was known around town as Captain Bishop.
Around 1910 the Company moved to a building on what was then Fourth Street. This became the first church. This location is now approximately Orange and Ringling where a modern Attorney's building is located on the premises. The parking lot to the rear of this current structure, is where the church building once stood.
In June of 1924 Elder Russel held a tent meeting aided by Sister Graham as Bible Instructor. In October of that year Sarasota voted to have a Church School, which opened a month later with 14 students enrolled. Elder McCauley pitched a tent in 1926 and Elder J.R. Spangler was the evangelist in a successful tent crusade in 1947. The tent was pitched on the what is now the Court House parking lot. Elder Henry Carubba lead the music for that service.
From Fourth Street, the Church moved forward, with God's help, and in 1926 a Church was built at 1702 Laurel Street. This building in still standing.
In April of 1970 Sarasota believers opened a new church building at 3101 Wilkinson, which would serve as the congregation’s home until 1990. This building is also still standing.
In the late 1980’s, the congregation decided to build a new complex on a piece of property located off of Clark Road east of I-75. Groundbreaking at 5764 Churchill Downs Road was held on December 17, 1989 and the congregation began worshipping at the new location in the summer of 1990.
More than two dozen pastors have shepherded the Sarasota flock and today the Sarasota Seventh-day Adventist Church worships at the Churchill Downs location with more than 200 members. Three separate buildings provide ample facilities for classes, ministries, fellowship, and worship. The membership is actively involved with many ministries, including children's ministries, community outreach, and health seminars and activities.