In early 1995, approximately 78 people, led by Rev. Dr. Sherry L. Kennedy, felt called to begin something new in South Sarasota County. They began by gathering for worship each week in a rented conference room at the Day’s Inn in Venice, Florida. This required bringing church with the every week – – setting up and taking down all the “trappings” required for a worship service. These “spiritual bag people,” as they called themselves, became the initial, founding members of SunCoast Cathedral MCC. Within months of worshiping in this manner, a large, five acre piece of property with an existing 10,000 sq. ft. metal building that had served as a church for prior congregations, was found along East Venice Avenue and purchased. This was no small feat for a church that didn’t even have its own bank account!
Worship continued in the existing church building until 2001 when Tropical Storm Gabrielle caused damage to our building which resulted in toxic mold forming and the building subsequently being condemned. After years of haggling with the insurance company didn’t even yield enough funds to demolish the building, this congregation was not dissuaded or discouraged – – within two weeks, they raised over an additional $40,000 required to demolish the building.
Refusing to give up, while all the insurance claims were being settled and the work to rebuild was going on, the congregation needed a place to meet. They renovated an existing garage on the property and created a wonderful 960 sq. ft. chapel. The members of the church did this work. Due to the small size of the chapel, two services were held each Sunday for the next several years. A rebuilding campaign was begun called, “Let Us Arise and Rebuild.” After a time of multiple struggles and challenges as the money was raised, with the county and the insurance company causing delay after delay, the members of Suncoast Cathedral MCC persisted and trusted in God, our “foundational scriptures” and one another, and succeeded in completing the building we now occupy in early 2010. SunCoast Cathedral literally stands on holy ground, with our church’s foundational scriptures sown in to the ground upon which the church stands.
There are rocks located under the foundation of the sanctuary with Jeremiah 29:11 (our founding pastor’s “life verse”), as well as the other promises SunCoast holds from God’s word (see further in this package). Rev. Sherry always looked to the bright future ahead for SunCoast Cathedral MCC, and the congregation still does today. This is instilled in the DNA of SunCoast as we are indeed a “can do” church.
In 2014 Rev. Sherry Kennedy celebrated 30 years in ministry. In 2015, SunCoast Cathedral MCC celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In the Spring of 2015, with the passing of our founding Pastor, Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy, we continued our journey. Rev. Vickie Miller became our GAP Pastor, followed by Rev. Gina Durbin, as our Interim Pastor. On March 19th, 2017, after an extensive search by our Pastoral Search Team, our members elected Rev. Vickie Miller, and Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, as our Senior Pastors.
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Foundational Scriptures for SunCoast Cathedral MCC
SunCoast Cathedral MCC has a long and rich tradition as a “praying” church. Over our history we have “claimed” several scriptures as our own and they serve as the foundation for what we do and believe. They are in fact literally sown within the ground upon which our church is built and written on rocks which stand below the foundation of the chancel. These scriptures are:
Philippians 4:19 – “Our God shall supply all our needs according to God’s riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:13 – “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
Romans 8:37 – “But in all things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Christ who loved us.”
II Corinthians 2:14 – “But thanks be unto God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”
Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper;”
I Thessalonians 5:24 – “Faithful is God who calls us and God also will bring it to pass.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares God, plans for your prosperity and not for your destruction, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
Mark 9:23 – “All things are possible to those who believe.”
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to God’s purpose.”
Joel 2:25a, 26 – “Then I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten…And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.”
Nehemiah 8:10 – “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
II Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”
Philippians 1:6 – “The One who began a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Isaiah 42:16 – “And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.”
Habakkuk 2:2, 3 – “Then the Lord answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.’ “