The history of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Sarasota, FL, began with the vision and enterprise of a group of people who first saw the need for a Christian Science church in the Gulf Gate neighborhood of south Sarasota. Two Christian Scientists sponsored an initial meeting on January 25, 1970, and after several enthusiastic gatherings and much prayer for guidance, a committee was appointed to seek a suitable location for services. The sanctuary of St. Andrews United Church of Christ at 6908 Beneva Road was graciously offered, and the first Christian Science service was held there on Communion Sunday, July 12, 1970. This was the beginning of five years of a harmonious relationship with the host church. Rapid progress in the growth of what began as an informal group of Christian Scientists in the Sarasota Gulf Gate community resulted in its recognition in November, 1971, as a “Christian Science Society” by The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, The Mother Church.
In May, 1972, a church building site was purchased at 7660 Curtiss Avenue and was fully paid for by August, 1973. On July 10, 1974, ground was broken to begin construction of a new church building. This edifice was completed in August, 1975, five and a half years after the first informal meeting in a neighborhood home; and the first church service was held on Sunday, August 3, 1975. The establishment of a Reading Room and Sunday School in the new edifice completed eligibility for recognition by The Mother Church as a “church”, and the next month, September, 1975, the Society became Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Sarasota, Florida.
Growth in attendance came rapidly, necessitating the decision to move the Reading Room to 6579 Gateway Avenue. Through the generosity of one of the members, the church was able to erect a separate building for the Sunday School and a Child Care Room, while still paying off the church mortgage. Subsequently, the auditorium was enlarged by the removal of temporary walls. Hearts were filled with gratitude for the meeting of financial needs throughout this period, as well as gifts of books and furnishings, and hours of tireless service.
The church joyously held two dedication services, each overflowing with attendees, on Sunday, January 21, 1979.
In March of 2004, the Reading Room was seamlessly moved into the spacious Sunday School Building, enabling a harmonious consolidation of church activities.
"Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God."
~ Mary Baker Eddy