1905 – Englewood Methodists began holding Sunday School classes in Josie Quimby Miller’s home.
1914 – Rev. Joseph Barton organized the first Methodist congregation with 10 charter members: Mrs. E. Emerson, Sarah Buchan Kelley, Mrs. J. D. Kinney, Miss M. Kinney, Nellie Anger Lampp, Edith Anger Lampp, Josie Quimby Miller, Annie Roberts, Fabian Roberts and Mr. Roberts. They met at the Miller home and at a one-room schoolhouse at the north end of Englewood (at the northeast corner of Forked Creek & Englewood Road).
Sarasota Times 26 Oct 1916:
Rev. Barton came Saturdays by train from Punta Gorda to McCall. (McCall was a “town” with a depot, store and post office serving the ranch area near today’s Gardens of Gulf Cove.) From there he rode in the mail wagon to Englewood, preaching to the little group and staying overnight at the Sarah Lampp Kelly home before making the trip back Mondays.
1921 – The one-room school burned down and a flood hit the downtown area. The congregation met for a short time at the home of Sarah Buchan Kelley after which the community was without a church for several years.
1926 – The congregation reassembled at the school on the corner of Dearborn & Elm Streets and later at the Lemon Bay Woman’s Club. The number of services was increased to two per month.
With financial support from Mrs. Dyer O. Clark, widow of the founder of the Delaware & Lackawanna Railroad, the Rev. W. B. Tresca from the Venice-Nokomis Methodist Episcopal Church was brought to Englewood for Sunday afternoon services twice a month for two years.
Jan. 6, 1928 – The Church is officially incorporated.
1928 – Rev. Hubert Dodd from Nokomis, conducting a mid-day Sunday picnic and hymn sing at the Platt home (in present-day Oak Grove Trailer Park), encouraged the growing congregation to build their own church on 2 lots on the northwest corner of Green & Magnolia Streets. One lot was given by the Florida Methodist Conference and the other by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Lampp.
Lottie Lampp, with other young people, helped raise $1500 toward the sanctuary, but the congregation was divided on the issue of further Methodist affiliation, so half of the fund went to the Methodists and the other half to advocates of a community church, later identified as Presbyterian. A gift of $500 from the Methodist Conference Board of Missions made possible the construction of the very first church in Englewood.
April 5, 1928 – Members worshiped in their new church for the first time. Built by volunteers and local ship builders, the new church cost $1,250. The builders received a noon meal at Edith Lampp’s. Mrs. Bert Anger helped serve. Rev. Dodd’s 4 daughters and his wife brought a piano from Georgia. Mrs. Dodd gave Lottie Lampp lessons.
The bell placed in the bell tower came from the Venice M. E. Church on Colonia Lane in Nokomis which was destroyed in the 1926 hurricane. It has since been returned.
August 5, 1928 – Three dimes were placed in the cornerstone of the debt-free building as fire insurance!
1929 – When the Florida Land Boom collapsed, Englewood was hard hit. The church struggled. Lottie Lampp (Stanley’s niece) is credited with holding the small congregation together. Lottie Lampp:
— cleaned the church
— provided flowers from her garden for services
— played the piano when needed
— sold flowers and baked goods on Dearborn to raise $5 to pay the minister
— arranged for a Baptist minister and cornetist from Venice, Roy Gustafson, to call the worshippers together.
At that time records show six Sunday School classes with an average attendance of 29, and collections ranging from 33 cents to $1.87. Expenses included lights for the year: $17.76; oil and oil can: 35 cents; light bulb and shade: 45 cents; mosquito dope: 25 cents; a donation for the steps: 50 cents.
1944 – A hurricane damaged the original bell tower and it was replaced with a bell tower on top of the building.
1953 – The church was now 25 years old and the congregation was financially strong enough to support a permanent pastor, the Rev. Edgar E. Stauffer, at an annual salary of $2,500. A new parsonage was built on the N/E corner of Green and Magnolia Streets. Three lots were purchased west of the church, a Fellowship Hall was added on the back of the church.
The congregation enlarged the facilities and replaced the original slat benches with pews. A widened front door that could accommodate a casket enabled the church to be used for funeral services.
1956 – A new portico and columns plus a blue-lighted cross were added on the front of the building.
1957 – A storm destroyed the blue-lighted cross on the church, a memorial gift from Mr. and Mrs. William Lord for their sons.
1962 – The growing congregation broke ground for a new larger sanctuary next door. The original building was moved to the western side of the property and turned to face Green Street. It was redesigned and named the Lampp Youth Center in recognition of the contributions made to the church by the Lampp family.
1979 – The Methodists needed an even larger church and moved 2 miles out to their current location on the corner of Oxford and Dearborn. The 1962 Magnolia Street and the 1928 Green Street buildings were purchased by The Church of the Nazarene.
1988 – The building had deteriorated over the years. When renovation plans were announced, the Lemon Bay Historical Society became concerned that such work might threaten the historical integrity of the building.
After some negotiations, the Church of the Nazarene transferred ownership of the building to the Society but with a 99-year lease on the land under the church, renewable every 10 years.
The Historical Society then began the slow process of restoring the building and returning it to its original 1920s design, including replacing the bell tower.
1997 – Through the generosity of area pioneers L.A. Anger, Dorothy Cannon, J.D. “Jack” Tate, and the Helen Vanderbilt Trust, who each contributed enough to match a State grant for $19,400, restoration of the interior began.
1998 – The Historical Society received a certificate of occupancy from Sarasota County and on March 21, the first wedding in the restored church museum was held.
2005 – The 1928 church building was recognized by the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places.
2013 – Members of the Historical Society complete needed repairs to the roof.
2018 – The land lease will not be renewed. The Historical Society raises funds to move the iconic building to a permanent home on land owned by the Society just south of the historic Lemon Bay Cemetery.