SARASOTA – Some feel that there is a special spiritual quality in Sarasota; new-agers flock to the city for the beaches, which some say is crystal quartz from Atlantis. While fun to believe, what is certain is that old fashioned religious communities flourish here.
Visitors who come to the Sarasota area can find a thriving church scene, with dozens of churches with great preaching, spirit-filled music and welcoming congregations well-attuned to visitors from out of state. Strong denominational churches downtown are well suited to visitors, who drop in while visiting Sarasota from across the world and U.S.
But non-denominational churches thrive too. Some of them include:
- Victory at Sarasota: Services are held just off Fruitville Road on Saturday nights. Pastor Brian Gibbs and wife Bren Gibbs give a warm welcome to all comers. Notable visitors have included Bill Johnson of California’s Bethel Church and evangelist Dutch Sheets. Georgian Banov will be at the church March 9, 2013. Before and after service prayer is a key part of the worship. Before you come visit, you can check them out online.
- Harvest Tabernacle: A church with a serious sense of mission in downtown Sarasota, leading some of the most troubled to Christ. In addition to Sunday services, great worship on a weeknight night service, along with healing and intense prayer. Pastor Jim Minor leads the church.
- The Tabernacle Sarasota: One of the larger in Sarasota, this church is best known across the community for a living nativity, but the rest of the year it has dozens of ministries. This January 13, 2013, the church will sponsor a service with the Wallendas (yes those Flying ones!) called Family and Friends Day.
- Hope Church: This church is visible off I-75 as you drive through Sarasota, just north of the Fruitville Road exit. They have a heavy focus on changing lives, and a large congregation of over 2,000.
- 360 Church: A non-church looking church, 360 is led by Pastor Steve McCoy, whose sermons focus on practical applications for daily living. Their “highest goal is to glorify God by carrying out the work of Jesus Christ.” Services on Sunday morning at their building at Ashton and Macintosh roads, just north of Clark Road. Totally visitor friendly.
Ideas about places to worship while visiting Sarasota, or have thoughts on any of the above churches? Leave them below.