Our Story

How it all started...

August 1970 - 30 members of First Christian Church of Sarasota, were commissioned as charter members of Beneva Christian Church.  The new church met temporarily at the Bee Ridge Recreational Park on Wilkinson Road.  Until our current property was purchased on the corner of Beneva and Proctor.  The Reverend Milton Mikesell was our first pastor.  

The church grew, along with the community around it.  When the first building was completed in February of 1974, Beneva found themselves a country church.  Development soon started around Beneva, replacing cow pastures with housing communities.  In four years, a new church plant transitioned into a church all it's own.  

Expanding & Declining...

The 80's and 90's saw tremendous growth, under the leadership of Pastors Ed and Mary Pat Spencer.  Two additional buildings were added to the campus.  One for classrooms, that would eventually become Little Disciples Preschool.  And a separate Fellowship Hall.  Youth Groups traveled the world and retired people gathered weekly for the Happy Hearts ministry.  

The turn of the century didn't bring good news for the congregation.  A steady decline caused the congregation to consider options to keep the doors open.  The ministry went from world traveling youth and socializing retirees to "We hope we can pay the bills".  

As with so many churches, the times had changed.  A desire to regain what had been was  the goal.  But nobody and nothing can go home again.  For the times were changing.  The kids of the families of Beneva moved away or simply stopped coming to church.  Ministries that had thrived in the past, died on the vine.  The Youth Group ended and the Happy Hearts became too old to participate.  Thus, the ministry floundered in the pursuit of an identity.

Where we are headed...

2022 saw the adoption of a new Mission and a new Five-Year Vision.  Beneva has turned the corner.  No longer are we worried about how to pay the bills.  We're focused on learning about who we are and who God is calling us to be.  

We joke that this is the nearly perfect church.  And we invite all of you nearly perfect people to join us.  As we discover who we are, as a church, we invite you to discover who you are, as a child of God.  

Our new Mission and Vision has been planted in the shade of our beautiful oak trees.  We invite you to come and find your place to rest, relax and re-create, on your very own journey to be.  May we walk with each other, as we learn and grow into who God is calling us to be.      

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together @  10:30 am.