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North Fort Myers church celebrates new addition

June 24, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

In one room, a group of adults met for its weekly Bible study class. In another room, two young girls were attending Sunday school class with their two teachers. Next door, was an empty room waiting to be filled with people and their singing voices for choir practice.

Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, with the help of its parishioners and a business next door that donated land, has added four additional rooms to its facility, as well as a new roof, new color to the building, and landscaping.

On Sunday, the church celebrated the five-month process with a dedication and party following its morning service.

Article Photos

Chuck Ballaro

Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church is at 19251 N Tamiami Trail. Sunday services are held at 10:25 a.m..

Dr. Valerie Bell, Holy Trinity pastor, said the addition was necessary for the church to expand its religious offerings.

"It seemed like God was telling us that this was what we needed to do. The Dollar Store started construction 18 months ago and they asked us if we needed 1.5 of the three acres they had," Bell said. "We put in the rooms in anticipation of building a new sanctuary."

Construction began in February, with the project costing about a quarter-million dollars, which was raised by its 160 congregation members, friends and affiliates.

Bill Balentine, of Cape Coral, a member of the church, designed and built the addition. He said there's still room for a 15,000 square foot sanctuary and 50 parking spaces.

"We have engineers already giving us some bids. All we need is a congregational growth (to about 300 to 400 members)," Balentine said. "And we're ready to go with that."

The addition was completed two weeks ago, and early returns show the congregation loves it.

"This is going to be better for us because we have people coming to meet after church, we're growing and we needed room," said Billie Sonderman, a 10-year member of the church. "We have meeting rooms now where they used to come (to the fellowship hall) as well as the choir."

"We've been growing the last few years and we ran out of space, so we started talking about building more classes," said parishioner Jane Robinson.

Holy Trinity was formed in 1964 and held its first services on Pondella Road, moving to its current location on North Tamiami Trail in 1999. Sonderman said the congregation has doubled in size over the last decade.

The church holds Sunday service at 10:25 a.m., with an additional 8:30 a.m. service between December and Easter.

 
 

 

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