Open and Affirming Statement
The Community United Church of Christ began as a
Sunday School in 1918, under Mr. and Mrs. R.E. McLaren. As the area developed
and the population grew, the need for a regular church became apparent. The
Community Church of Kelsey City was organized in June of 1925. On February 7,
1926, the Articles of Agreement were accepted and a Board of Directors
selected by the congregation. There were thirty-five charter members. Dr. J.C
Calhoun. Who was the acting pastor of the Sunday School since March 1, 1924,
was called as the pastor of the Community Church. Mr. Harry S. Kelsey,
founder of Kelsey City (which later became Lake Park), donated a house as a
In 1928, The
Great Hurricane devastated the area and as a result many members moved away
and new membership declined. The congregation persevered, however, and on
February 12, 1929, the Kelsey City Community Church was incorporated as a
legal entity in the State of Florida. In June 1929, arrangements were made to
rent the Community Club Building for church services. In 1938, the church
acquired the Community Club and converted the building into a church. At that
time there was no regular pastor and the church was used by the Sunday
School. Christian Endeavor and the Ladies Aid Society. In August of 1940,
arrangements were made for a Sunday preacher.
The church struggled through the war years. The
pastor resigned and the church services were temporally abandoned. Sunday
School services and the Ladies Aid Society met each Sunday. Church services
were conducted occasionally, but regular church activities were at ebb. In
1947, a new Board of Directors was elected, and they pursued changing the
By-laws, acquiring a pastor, reviving membership, and initiating church
activities. On October 26, 1947, the church membership voted to affiliate
with the Congregational Christian Church.
Ground was broken for Fellowship Hall in 1948. At
the end of that year, the Community Church voted to approve the merger of all
the Congregational Churches with the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The
church finally obtained a permanent pastor, Rev. Charles Meeker, in
September, 1949. Once again in 1949, a hurricane damaged the church building.
Once again, the congregation repaired and redecorated the church.
In 1950, the congregation began building a
parsonage. On November 2, 1950, the church celebrated its twenty-fifth
anniversary. The Parsonage was completed and dedicated on September 16, 1951.
In 1958, the Educational wing was added to Fellowship Hall. In 1965, the
congregation adopted a new constitution and changed the name to the
"Community United Church of Christ", Lake Park, Florida. Through a
gift from Swanee Kurtz, the Carillon was added to the church building in
1979. In 1982, Fellowship Hall was modeled into a room for meetings, dinners,
etc. the Narthex was added to the Sanctuary and stained glass windows were
donated. A gift from Thelma Smith in 1984, allowed the church to purchase a van
with a wheelchair lift, and the Van Ministry was started. The west side rooms
of the church were renovated in 1991, to provide small meeting areas.
Through the years, the church has held various
services and activities. The Sunday School, which formed CUCC's foundation,
continues. Adult Bible classes are held weekly. Activities for teenagers such
as camping trips and dances are held with Gold Coast Mission Council groups.
Support for missionary work is carried out through contributions to OCWM and
other special collections throughout the year. The congregation packages and
delivers Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts for less fortunate families, and
participates in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. The Women's
Fellowship sponsors and annual Christmas Bazaar and Rummage Sale. Friendship
Sundays have been initiated to attract new members.
The strength of
the church continues to be the congregation. We have had and continue to have
a high percentage of our members serving on boards or as officers or volunteering
in other ways. The Community United Church of Christ continues the tradition
of serving our Lord and community.