Sanibel Community Church has turned 100!
It was in May of 1914 that Rev. Day and a small group of Sanibel residents met at the local schoolhouse to form a branch Methodist Episcopal Church, which later evolved into a non-denominational community congregation. In 1917, the group, comprised mostly of farmers, built the pine chapel that continues to serve islanders today at its mid-island location on Periwinkle Way.
Throughout the years, the congregation weathered its share of difficulties, including the Great Depression and several powerful hurricanes, but the church grew steadily and experienced much progress, especially when the ferry opened in 1928 and again when the causeway was completed in the 1960s. A $5 million renovation and expansion program, completed just last year, added a beautiful new sanctuary to the church campus.
Today, Sanibel Community Church has a vibrant and engaged congregation, welcoming more than 28,000 attendees annually to a mix of both traditional and contemporary worship services. Members are involved in a number of ministries and outreach programs, including several international mission programs, and their youth programs are among the most popular on the island.
To celebrate their Centennial, church members have been treated to a series of “looks back” at different decades each Sunday, culminating with a special fellowship and all-community picnic following a recent service, which included an old-fashioned fish fry and a special commemorative video featuring highlights of the past 100 years.
As current and longest-serving pastor, Dr. Daryl Donovan, commented, “And Sanibel Community Church will be in our hearts for the next 100 years. It’s a great place to be!”