Miami Beach Community Church

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The Congregational denomination was responsible for the formation of the Miami Beach Community Church in 1920.  The original name was “Miami Beach Congregational Church”; however, to make people from all denominations feel welcome, the name was changed within the first year to “Miami Beach Community Church.” No other denominations had any churches in Miami Beach at the time. Miami Beach developer Carl G. Fisher contributed the land for the church, at the encouragement of his wife, Jane.  In 1957 the Congregational denomination became “The United Church of Christ.”

The Sanctuary was ready for occupancy on the second Sunday in January of 1921.  The church organized with 27 charter members on February 7, 1921, and the building was dedicated on Palm Sunday, March 20, 1921.

The first minister was the Rev. Dr. Elisha King, who was in charge of the church from 1921-1940. In 1926, a hurricane flooded most of the church, destroying the hymnbooks, piano and organ.  In addition, the pages of the altar Bible were destroyed, up to the Gospel of John!

The Rev. Dr. R. Wiley Scott was the second minister of the Community Church, serving from 1940-1973. The Rev. Dr. Garth R. Thompson was called to the pulpit on January 1,1974-2012. Harold Eugene “Hunter” Thompson, Jr. was called by the congregation to be the fourth pastor in Miami Beach Community Church’s illustrious history on July 29, 2012.

From its inception, the church observed open communion – which means that all people, no matter who they are, or where they are in their life’s journey, are welcome to participate in the service held on the first Sunday of each month.


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