It was standing-room only Sunday, Jan. 14, when the congregation of Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian, gathered for a formal dedication of its sanctuary.
Prior to the turning over of the church key, Building Committee Chairman Burt Borgelt gave a brief history of the church.
It began in late 2004, when small groups met in homes and moved the next year to the Bayfront Park Recreation Center. The Rev. Ray Woody was the part-time pastor; incorporation as Christ Church of Longboat Key came in 2005, with Presbyterian affiliation following in December 2006. Meeting then at the Mediterranean Plaza, the Rev. Bruce Porter became pastor.
Three lots and a small building at 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive were purchased in February 2008. Plans were approved for a sanctuary, a fund drive was initiated and ground was broken for the building March 14, 2010. On Oct. 23, 2011, the first service was held in the new sanctuary.
In addition, a Rodgers organ with ornamental pipes has been acquired and installed. It was dedicated later in the day Sunday, with a concert by internationally-acclaimed organist, Mary Mozelle. Additional concerts that will be open to the public are planned.
As congregation members enjoyed a social hour following the service, there were smiles of proud accomplishment. Just seven years after about 45 people were meeting at homes for worship, the membership has now grown to a sanctuary with more than 200 members.