First Presbyterian Church Pompano

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During the 1950’s Reverend Edward P. Downey, pastor of the Church-By-The-Sea in Fort Lauderdale, recognized an increasing need in Pompano Beach for a new church to serve the growing population. A local advertisement inquiring about public interest generated a meeting of three prominent local businessmen and Reverend Downey at a local restaurant to discuss forming a non-denominational Village Church. Those men were John H. Weir, Robert Bateman and Ken Daehler.

       The initial meeting created significant interest and subsequent meetings were held. On January 24, 1954 a public meeting was held for local residents and visitors. From the meeting there was agreement on the need for a nondenominational church and in March, 1954 regular Sunday 7 p.m. vesper services began at the Chamber of Commerce auditorium with Reverend Downey serving as interim minister. This church in its infancy was known as a community church until it could become affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church, USA.

       Organizers wanted a new location and the only place they could find was the Pompano Drive-in Theatre on Federal Highway. All agreed to this location and in January, 1955 the infant church, now known as the Lighthouse Point Village Church began. Later in 1955, Mr. Bateman and his wife donated property near Lighthouse Point Marina and led a drive to raise funds for a permanent church building. The drive was successful and a new building was constructed at the 27th Street Marina location. With a seating capacity of 300, the church was still known as the Lighthouse Point Village Church. On February 6, 1956 the charter members were received into the United Presbyterian Church, USA, the Presbytery of Southeast Florida and the Synod of the South. During that year Reverend Wyn Blair Sutphin was installed as the permanent pastor, allowing Reverend Downey to continue with his primary church in Fort Lauderdale.

       Over the next year and a half, attendance grew dramatically, averaging 1,000 people.  This made it necessary for additional Sunday services and the need for a larger church building was evident. Late in 1958, the Central Board authorized the elders to find a new permanent location for the church and to proceed with building plans. In early 1959 preliminary plans for a building were approved and a fund raising drive was launched. The location for the future church was pursued and resulted in an acquisition of land located on NE 24th Street, which belonged to Mr. C. L. Hale of Groton, CT.

       After extensive conversations and compromises, an agreement was reached and the land was leased for 99 years with no escalation clause. On November 26, 1959 the cornerstone was officially laid. Building immediately began and on November 6, 1960 “The Pink Church” was officially dedicated where it currently stands today.

       During more than fifty years, the church has grown and been a symbol of love and light in the community. Expansion of the campus has included church offices, a chapel, a columbarium, Imagination Station Preschool & Lighthouse Christian School.


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