homepage logo

Groundbreaking News at SCC: Church prepares for new sanctuary

By Staff | Aug 18, 2011

Sanibel Community Church Director of Administration Shelton Gwaltney prepares for the groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 23 for the church’s new sanctuary that will seat 600 congregates and include a bookstore and administrative offices.

The Sanibel Community Church will be breaking ground on a new sanctuary marking the culmination of more than a year of cooperation between the church and community leaders.

“We began our Capitol Campaign in March 2010,” said Shelton Gwaltney, the church’s director of administration.

With more than $4.2 million committed to the campaign by its congregates, SCC will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 5 p.m. Aug. 23 for its 600-seat sanctuary, new bookstore and administrative offices for a total 12,414 square feet. The historic sanctuary, which seats 450 parishioners, will continue to be used for the 8 a.m. traditional service, as well as for weddings, memorial services and other community events.

“(The historic sanctuary) will be restored to its original look on the inside,” explained Gwaltney, who said the “wings” containing overflow seating will be closed off and made into classrooms. “The original wood on the walls has been saved and will be used in the remodeling.”

As a multi-denominational community church, SCC makes every effort to be a place where people from a wide range of denominational backgrounds feel at home. In recent years, the church has experienced sustained growth in its youth and children’s ministries and attendance in the “off season” months has remained steady.

A rendering shows the Sanibel Community Church’s new sanctuary, which should be completed within a year. Other construction projects include remodeling the Family Life Center for more space and restoring the historic sanctuary to its original look.

“We have a very active youth program,” noted Gwaltney. “Sanibel is no longer just a retirement island. There are many younger families attending our church.”

To accommodate the expanding younger congregation, the 6,566-square-foot Family Life Center will be receiving a make over during the construction project. Space on the first floor will be created for the children’s ministry and on the second level for the youth ministry. An additional 873 square feet will be used for a crying room and the addition of an outside stairwell.

“This is very exciting,” said Gwaltney about the construction of a new sanctuary. “We are very much in need of more room.” Services in January through March are “packed out with standing room only,” Gwaltney added.

Fort Myers-based general contractors Benchmark expects to have construction on the new sanctuary completed within a year. If you are interested in becoming a member of SCC, where you will receive a warm welcome and a gracious gift, attend a newcomer reception. You will see a short video, have time to ask questions, meet the leadership and receive instructions on the next membership step.

Step two is a new member class, where you will receive a packet including important documents and forms to complete. SCC offers its members several types of services, as follows:

8 a.m. Traditional worship service with communion

9 a.m. Contemporary worship service with kid’s church

9 a.m. Adult Bible class

10:15 a.m. Fellowship in the courtyard

10:45 a.m. Traditional worship service with choir

10:45 a.m. Adult and youth Bible classes and children’s Sunday school

SCC congregates believe worship is something to be passionate about.

“Just as children have different ways of expressing love to their parents, we believe God’s people express their love to Jesus in different ways,” the web site states. “That’s why at Sanibel Community Church we offer a rich opportunity for both traditional and contemporary worship.”

In traditional worship, you will experience the old, familiar hymns, a chancel choir and the Lord’s Supper with communion served at the 8 a.m. service weekly. While the later contemporary service does incorporate hymns, they usually are accompanied with more of a beat than you would experience at the traditional service. A full “Praise Band” leads parishioners in vibrant contemporary songs of worship. Pastor Daryl Donovan preaches the same sermon in all three services.

“Sanibel Community Church has a passion to be faithful to the vision we believe the Lord has given us,” Senior Pastor Donovan states on the web site. “We desire that every person would come into a life-changing relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. All that we say and do is about Jesus.”

Join SCC at 5 p.m. Aug. 23 for its groundbreaking celebration followed by a reception with light refreshments available. The church is located at 1740 Periwinkle Way, next to Jerry’s.

The Islander would like to extend a special thank you to Bridgit Stone-Budd with the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce for her help on the cover photo. Bridgit has gone above and beyond to assist the Islander staff with many projects and is a great asset to this publication, as well as her community.