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Belleview Church Members Dedicate New Sanctuary

posted on February 10, 2014, under Church by

by Zlata Sabo

Belleview Church members dedicated their new sanctuary June 9, 2012. (Photo: Zlata Sabo)

Belleview Church members dedicated their new sanctuary June 9, 2012. (Photo: Zlata Sabo)

Early in 1981, a group of individuals from Ocala, Fla., decided to plant a new church south of town in Belleview. A local bank contributed its basement facilities for the congregation’s use on Sabbath afternoons after the bank had closed.

While enjoying the bank’s hospitality, the small group began donating money toward the purchase of five acres just outside the city limits and started making plans to build a church. Upon purchase of this land, and as soon as weather permitted, the congregation of 45 held a worship service on their newly acquired property. Soon after, a groundbreaking ceremony was held with officials from Florida Conference in attendance.

The newly organized church had three contractors in their congregation who supervised the construction and worked every Sunday with other members and nonAdventist friends in the labor of love. Dollar by dollar, brick by brick, the small congregation went forward in faith and began to build the church. Members pledged more than they could afford, and the Lord provided.

Within a year, the new building was completed debt free as each member generously gave their time, money, and talents. The new sanctuary, dedicated in April 1982, was to serve as a temporary place of worship. Almost immediately, plans were under way for a larger sanctuary.

As membership increased through the years, several additions were added to the original structure. Construction of a larger sanctuary was put on hold while the congregation continued to worship in the original 100-seat sanctuary.

With the arrival of Pastor Shawn Lathrom, church members renewed their commitment to building a new sanctuary. By this time, the church was bursting at its seams; however, Pastor Lathrom had decided to further his education and leave this pastorate.

Belleview Church members worship in their new 250-seat sanctuary. (Photo: Zlata Sabo)

Belleview Church members worship in their new 250-seat sanctuary. (Photo: Zlata Sabo)

For 30 years, the congregation never stopped giving funds toward building of a new sanctuary. By the time current Pastor Ric Pleasants arrived, a significant amount of money was in hand, and members were motivated to build. Several members sacrificially gave large sums of money for various projects such as a sound system, steeple, and a chandelier for the foyer.

The beginning of a new era for Belleview members began on June 9, 2012, with the dedication of their new sanctuary. Of the original 45 charter members, seven still attend. After 30 years of waiting, their hopes and dreams have become a reality; and, now, with other members and visitors, they worship the Lord in a new, spacious, 250-seat sanctuary.


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