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Our History

The History of Family Worship Center

After pastoring in metro Chicago for 21 yearts, Pastor Mitchell L. Shelby felt a burden to the city of Sarasota, Fl. Moving his family away from what they knew to a place where they didn't know anyone, wasn't an easy thing to do.  However, they made the transition best they could to follow the call and burden of their husband, dad, and pastor.  In the beginning, there were a few services held in their home, until a door was opened for a place of worship.  Sarasota Family Worship Center became incorporated on October 31st, 1993, and their first service was held in November 1993.  SFWC held its first service in a building converted from a one room fruit stand.  Services were held there from November 1993-February 1994

On March 4th, 1994 SFWC opened the doors of its new place of worship located on 4040 Fruitville Road, located inside of a strip mall known as Fruitville Square.  Services were held here from March 1994-August 1996.

Sometime in the month of June 1996, Pastor Shelby felt an unction to put an ad in the local newspaper.  The ad read "Responsible congregation looking to share your church facility.  We are an honest and reliable people.", and left his phone number.  In July 1996, the Sarasota Southern Methodist Church (SSMC), called Pastor Shelby because of this ad in the newspaper.  The pastor of SSMC invited Pastor Shelby to come and use their Methodist Church as their own place of worship.  So in August 1996, the SSMC leased SFWC their own church and SFWC began a new place of worship in this church building.

Our Own Building

In February 1998 Pastor Shelby began to pray, and thought "We don't need to lease this facility, or be a vagabond, we need to own the facilities we are in now."  Praying about the situation, the SSMC made a fair offer to sell their facilities to SFWC.  SFWC accepted the offer and the deal was closed at the end of February 1998.  In February 1998 the facility we have now, a 5 acre piece of property with a 3 bedroom, 2 bath parsonage, a 2000 square foot teen and social center and plenty of room for growth, became known as Sarasota Family Worship Center.  This Methodist Church from one day to the next became SFWC and a Book of Acts church.

Our Current Church