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Green Street Church & Museum

Markers: Sarasota History

Location: 416 West Green Street, Englewood, FL

Sarasota History - Green Street Church & Museum photo

The Green Street Church Museum began as Englewood's first church building. Community Methodists began holding Sunday School classes in Josie Quimby Miller's home around 1905. After the church officially organized in 1914, services were held in temporary locations and were led by visiting preachers.

With funding from a variety of sources, including Stanley Lampp and the Florida Methodist Conference Board of Missions, the group was able to build a simple frame structure without incurring any debt. The members first worshipped in their Magnolia Street church home on April 5, 1928.

When the 1920s Land Boom collapsed, Englewood was hard hit. The church struggled. Lottie Lampp (Stanley's niece) is credited with holding the small congregation together. She cleaned the church, provided flowers from her garden for services, and played the piano when needed. Through her efforts a Baptist minister and cornetist from Venice, Roy Gustafson, called the worshippers together. The sound of the cornet brought fishing parties in from the bay. Women held bake sales to raise the $5 to pay the minister.

By 1952 the congregation was financially strong enough to support a permanent pastor, the Rev. Edgar E. Stauffer, at an annual salary of $2500. The following year 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.

The congregation broke ground for a new sanctuary in 1962 and 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. In 1979 the Methodists moved to a new location.

The Church of the Nazarene purchased the Green Street church in 1979. 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 gave the building to the Historical Society with a 99-year lease on the land for $1 per year. Upon completion of needed restoration work in 1992, the Society turned the church into a museum.

Dedicated in 2005 by the Sarasota County Historical Commission