First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church

This post is part of a series called A Tour Of Sarasota.  For other Sarasota posts not part of this series, click here.

The original sanctuary, built in 1928, served the congregation until 1950.

When Sarasota’s first settlers arrived in the nineteenth century, they quickly established churches to serve their growing community. There are a handful of churches which date to those earliest days, and First Presbyterian Church is one of them. It has been in its present home since the 1920s where it moved from a downtown location, where it had been since 1906. The congregation’s home since 1928 was an attraction in the City, and served worshipers who were year-round residents as well as visitors. In 1950 an expansion was completed and the church’s current home took shape. It continues to provide a spiritual home to hundreds of Sarasota residents, all in an important and historic architectural setting.


The new sanctuary, completed in 1950, sits aside the original building.


This card postmarked February 6, 1952 reads:
Dear Mom + Dad:
I hope everything is all right at home. We will be home about Thursday, Feb. 14. unless we have another streak of bad weather. It rained all day Saturday but has been pretty nice since then.


An excerpt from Grismer, Karl H. The Story of Sarasota, page 217.

The First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota was organized February 16, 1906 by the Rev. J.W. Roseborough, evangelist for the synod of Florida. There were eleven charter members: W.M. Grigsby, Mrs. Abbie Grigsby, K.M. Hebb, Mrs. Hattie Hebb, Mrs. M.A. Morris, Miss Mamie Morris, Mrs. Eva Saunders McCall, R.I. Kennedy, Mrs. Marry A. Harrison, Mrs. F.J. Morris and Miss Onie M. Grigsby. W.M. Grigsby and K.M. Hebb was the first deacon and the first Sunday School superintendent.

Rev. Charles Kingsley was the first acting pastor. K.M. Hebb, R.I. Kennedy and George B. Prime were the first trustees. The First Ladies Aid Society was organized in June, 1907. The first church building, a concrete block structure, was erected at Orange Avenue and Fifth Street,t he cornerstone being laid November 22, 1908. The building was dedicated February 17, 1913.

During the boom years of 1925-26, the church was outgrown and services were held at various times in the Mira Mar Auditorium, Edwards Theatre, and the Gold Street school auditorium. consequently, the original property was sold and another location secreted at the east end of Oak Street. The first unit of the new church building was erected in the summer of 1928 and dedicated the following February. During the next few years, fourteen Sunday School rooms were added and a manse was secured.

Research for this post came from the following sources:

Grismer, Karl H. The Story of Sarasota. Sarasota, Florida: Paschal & Paschal, 1977. [Originally published by M.E. Russell, 1946.]