After being without a permanent home for five-and-a-half years, Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian, opened the doors to its new home for a 10 a.m. worship service Sunday, Oct. 23.
“Some were crying,” says the Rev. Bruce Porter. “It was really emotional for some of the people.”
Porter led a blessing on the porch of the new building, at 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive, before the 200 people in attendance entered together for the service. The new church was the culmination of about five years of planning and two years of fundraising.
In 2006 the congregation started meeting in the Mediterranean Plaza, and before that they met at the Bayfront Park Recreation Center. In 2007 talk about building a worship facility began, and in 2008 and 2009 the church raised more than $4.5 million. Almost 97% of the congregation gave funds toward the new building, Porter said. In August 2010, they held a ground-breaking ceremony.
Today, the church is more than 95% finished.
“The structure is here, it just needs a few details and tweaking,” says Burt Borgelt, chairman of the Building Committee. Some of these details are cosmetic, and the others are minor things, such as adjusting the sound system.
Porter describes the style of the church as “contemporary gothic”; it was designed by architect John S. Dickerson.
According to Porter, 278 people can fit in the sanctuary at a time. They expect to add another worship service time in the near future because the congregation keeps growing.