Historic Markers Across Florida

Methodist Church

Marker ID:  
Location: on S Pineapple Ave at State St, Sarasota, FL
County: Sarasota
Coordinates: N 27° 20.130    W 082° 32.496
  27.3355    -82.5416
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM304A


The village of Sarasota´s earliest church was chartered in 1891 as the Sarasota Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Manatee Village circuit rider Rev. E. F. Gates brought recently ordained Rev. William B. Tresca to be founding minister. ´Will´ had studied at Methodist Emory College near Atlanta. They arrived on horseback from the Manatee Methodist Church, oldest religious organization (1849) on mainland Florida south of Fort Brooke (now called Tampa).
Charter members were Mr. and Mrs. John Helveston, Lula Helveston, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Gocio, Martha Drew, Helen Pinard, Levi Jonathan and his daughter Fannie. Nancy Whitaker Helveston was the first settler child born along Sarasota Bay (1852). The Gocios were citrus growers. Knight was the son of pioneer cattleman ´Rev.´ Jessie Knight, who settled in 1868 at Horse and Chaise (Nokomis - Venice). Mrs. Pinard´s husband, Felix, was Sarasota´s first professional photographer.

Land was purchased in 1892 at the SE corner of Main and Pineapple. Prominent citizen and future three-term mayor, Harry Higel, provided the purchase price of $40.

Sponsored by: Dr. and Mrs. Frank Evans Jr. 1992


City: Sarasota, FL