St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Monday, May 20, 2013
Dwight D. Eisenhower was in his second term as President of the United States when St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was formed. Arthur Freed's Gigi won the Oscar for Best Motion Picture that same year.
Late in 1957, Dr. Thomas P. Johnston, who was the Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin had a vision to start a new church. A survey of the area and the rapid population growth in the county made North Dunedin the logical direction in which to move. A generous gift of five acres of land on Michigan Boulevard gave confirmation to the decision. With the full backing of the Session and membership of First Church and the encouragement of the Westminster Presbytery, (the predecessor to the current Presbytery of Tampa Bay), the birth of the church that would become St. Andrews was inevitable.
Westminster Presbytery's Home Mission Committee called the Rev. Mr. Jack W. Ewart to become the organizing pastor. The first worship service was held on January 26, 1958 in the H. P. Hood orange juice plant with 130 people in attendance. A name was chosen for this new venture in February of 1958. The name St. Andrews was chosen because it fit the location on the Gulf of Mexico and the fact that Andrew was a fisherman. It would later come to signify that Andrew is also remembered as the great evangelist.
St. Andrews did not officially become a church, however, until March 2, 1958 when a commission from Westminster Presbytery constituted the 109 signers of the charter requesting a church. The first act of this fledgling church was to extend a call to ministry to Jack Ewart. His installation by Presbytery took place immediately and we were now a congregation with a pastor! The congregation next moved to elect four men who constituted the first Session. It was a busy beginning!
Since those busy and humble beginnings the church has moved through the building of two worship centers, the first being what is now Kirk Hall built with the lines and materials symbolizing a well-known symbol of the Christian faith, a ship. The second was built under the leadership of Rev. Joe Holder and is our present worship space.
The church has seen many changes since its origins in 1958. Some things, however, have not changed. The church continues to be grounded in the Scriptures, centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ, passionate about making great music for God, and committed to transmitting the faith from generation to generation.