Since the 16th century, long before her establishment, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit was conceived to become part of the beautiful city of Safety Harbor. On the Feast day of Pentecost, May 15, 1597, Hernando DeSoto found his way to the shores of what is now known as Safety Harbor, where he allegedly discovered five mineral springs and named them Springs of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo Springs).
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, is located not a mile from DeSoto's landing point. In 1911 an unorganized group of faithful worshipers, who had been gathering to pray in each other's homes since 1855, decided to formally establish a congregation, which led to the construction and establishment of their first church building in 1914. Members of these families, the Tuckers and Baileys, who have headstones in our churchyard cemetery, deeded the land in 1911.
The church structure has had many incarnations in its long and sometimes rocky history. The original building, a Florida Gothic style, was erected in 1914 and continued on site until 1988, when it was physically moved to its present location on the grounds of DaySpring, the Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, Florida. A retired army building was brought on site to serve as a parish hall. Finally, in 1979, the current sanctuary was built. The congregation has donated much of the labor over the years.
As you will read, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ, her members, through God's blessings, has continued and persevered for over a hundred years. Those members, along with new members continue to journey toward spiritual growth, and serve together in the many outreach ministries for which the church is being called to respond.
Beautiful water-color painting of the original church building.
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