A letter from our pastor:
When Church of Our Savior was first established, we began worshipping together in the Historic Chapel at the Jacksonville Beach Historical Society with office space located across the street. Every day as I drove to the church, I would cross over the Intracoastal Waterway bridge on Beach Boulevard. As I crossed the bridge, I could not help but notice a large open field on the south side of the road. Every morning as I passed that field, I dreamed that one day Church of Our Savior would have its very own sanctuary right on that piece of land. Alas we were a very small church with limited resources so the dream I knew at the time would remain just a dream.
Eventually I shared that dream with Kent Steen who was our Senior Warden at the time. Instead of shooting it down for what seemed to be an impossibility, Kent suggested that we track it down and see what the Lord might do. We called a phone number posted on what we believed to be the property. We successfully reached a man who invited us to come take a look at his property. When we arrived to see the property, to our surprise he did not show us the land that the Lord had put on my heart. Instead he showed us the property just west of it, which was small and did not seem feasible for a church. After sharing our concerns with this man, he informed us that his property alone would not be enough, but that he knew the gentleman who owned two more properties adjacent to his that bordered the houses on Hopson Road. He suggested that if we put all three parcels together we might have enough to build our church.
After much discussion and prayer, the leadership of COOS made the decision to move forward with the purchase of those three parcels, which is where the church exists today. The dream God had planted in my heart for our church had led us to where we are and I am convinced we never would have made it if He had not given me that dream six years ago.
In the Fall of 2018 it became clear that the time had come to begin planning for the building of our sanctuary. Church of Our Savior has grown to the point of needing a larger sanctuary and the truth is our current sanctuary was always designed to be a fellowship hall. As our leadership began to meet and discuss our future plans for building the sanctuary, the question kept coming up about the land adjacent to the church to the east. The very land that God had planted on my heart so many years ago. One of the biggest obstacles on our current site is parking. We do not have the room to accommodate the number of cars necessary to support a larger sanctuary. It was going to be a struggle. So COOS leadership decided that before we moved forward with a capital campaign and building plan, we needed to once again explore the possibility of acquiring the land next door.
It is at this point in the story where many of our members stepped in and used their gifts, talents, and treasures to discover if in fact that land was available for purchase and if it was possible for the church to acquire it for our future sanctuary. After many months of research, investigation, and negotiations I am excited to announce that the church now owns that property debt free. It is wonderfully overwhelming to think about God’s plan and how this is what He had in mind all along. It is also humbling to me to think of all the people who have faithfully and generously given of their time, talents, and treasures to make this a reality. This work has truly been the whole body of Christ working together for His greater purposes. I want to recognize those who played such an integral part of this process: Rick and Susan Sontag, Kent Steen, Bill White, Chris McCarthy, Buff Wagner, Haywood Ball, Patti Brodeur, Bill Metcalf, Patrick Hill and the Tuesday morning intercessors who have been praying about this property for the past year.
We have truly been given a gift from God. I know that His plan is clearly for Church of Our Savior to build a sanctuary on this property, just as He put on my heart over six years ago. Please be praying for the next steps in the process. Your building team has begun the process of putting together a Master Plan for our campus with the goal of being ready early in 2020 to begin the capital campaign to raise the funds for this new work. We want to build an iconic sanctuary that will stand as a beacon of hope to our community. This all may seem like a lofty goal, but if there is one thing that the Lord has taught us over these past six years, it is that He always provides for what He calls His people to. We are being called to build this sanctuary not for our own use, but for the faithful proclamation of the gospel for generations to come. May His will continue to be done at Church of Our Savior.