In the late fall of 1993, James Richards called several members, and others who had attended the former Yale Street Church of Christ congregation, to see if there was enough interest in starting a new congregation. At that time, most of the previous membership had disbursed and were attending assemblies in nearby communities, such as Venice, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.
An organizational meeting was the held at James and Nancy Richards home in November of 1993. It was the opinion of all present (Approximately 12 people and others who could not be at this meeting) that establishing a new congregation in Englewood was needed. A meeting place was obtained by Preston and Kathleen Eason at the old bingo hall at the corner of SR 776 and Old McCall Road.
Brother Ralph Adrian taught the Bible class and preached on Sunday morning. Brother Steve Shaffer and Preston Eason lead singing and preached in the evening. There were approximately 20 members at that time. After a few weeks, the bingo hall was no longer an option for our meeting place. Therefore, a very gracious offer was extended to the group by Virginia Layman to meet in her home on Lemon Bay. We accepted her offer and it influenced us to name our congregation the Lemon Bay Church of Christ.
In early 1994 we were able to rent a storefront on North Indiana Avenue which became our new meeting place for several years (suite 7 and later suite 10). In May of 1995 three Elders, Preston Eason, Ralph Adrian and Steve Shaffer, were appointed along with three Deacons, Bill Adrian, Dick Davidson and Jim Seaman.
The membership continued to grow and remained around 35 to 40 and thoughts about construction of a permanent facility became a goal and hope for future growth.
In 1997 the treasury was sufficient for us to start the search for a lot somewhere along SR 776. In 1999 a three and a half acre plat of land was purchased just off SR 776 in East Englewood. Architectural drawings were prepared in late 2000 and early 2001 and several local building contractors submitted their bids in October and November of 2001. The cost proposals, however, exceeded our estimates and the decision was made to delay construction until a later date.
In 2003 Preston Eason decided to resign as an elder due to health reasons and shortly thereafter, Tom Taylor was appointed to the office.
Attendance continued to remain steady at approximately 40 to 60 depending on seasonal visitors. In July of 2004 George Tullos was appointed as an Elder and after a loan was offered by a member it was now possible for us to again explore the possibility of constructing a building. After obtaining new cost estimates, the decision to proceed was made by the membership and construction was stared in late 2004.
After approximately 10 months of construction, we held our first worship service in July 2005 and a special dedication service was held in August 2005 with a record attendance of 65.
The Lord has certainly blessed us with this beautiful building and now it is up to us to use it for His glory and to spread His word throughout the surrounding community.