Seeing in a New Light

Project L.I.G.H.T. (Let’s Improve God’s House Together), a capital improvement campaign, was initiated in early 1990. The goal was to raise $110,000.00 for repairs/upgrades in the sanctuary, McKinley Hall, and both parsonages. The highest-priced item being an elevator for Fellowship Hall. Floyd Kirkland was approved to be Clerk of the Works. The only report located (undated) stated that to date $53,463.00 had been pledged and several projects had been completed with others in progress. The elevator was not installed.

Project LIGHT pledge card


That summer ushered in a decade of “firsts” for First Church Sanford as we welcomed our first female clergy person; Associate pastor Doris Jean (Jeanie) Davis, who served with Senior pastor Jean Guerry. Rev. Davis was the final Associate Pastor appointed to FUMC Sanford therefore the second parsonage at 302 Satsuma was sold on March 10, 1992.

Sanford Herald article, July 1, 1990. Read the full article HERE ¹


That Spring (1992) brought another change at the church: the Lutheran Ministries of Florida gave up their Child Care license and after forming a study committee and much discussion at the Administrative Board meeting, we agreed to have the program move into Fellowship Hall and accepted all the equipment, supplies and business of said program. A fenced playground was constructed and the Child Care served the community, under the direction of Carol Reid, until it was closed in 2014.

The final day of Annual Conference of 1994 and the Sunday following, June 6-7, was a time of joy and celebration for FUMC Sanford! Mabel Chapman Thomas was awarded the Harry Denman Award from the Florida Conference “which honors those whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.”²  That same morning, Kip Younger and Jim Thomas were ordained as full elders. All three were feted by many friends at a luncheon hosted by some ladies from the church.

On Sunday, Mabel Thomas was chosen as Layperson of the Year by the church – a richly deserved honor. The Denman currently hangs in McKinley Hall.


Happening in Sanford

“In 1992, the (Sanford History) museum was again expanded. A climate-controlled vault was constructed for the Sanford Papers and they were finally removed from the bank. A gallery was built for exhibits on local history and the museum was at last able to begin collecting Sanford’s history on a large scale. This expansion was made possible by funds from the Sanford Historical Society, the County Tourist Development Tax, the City of Sanford, and the estate of S.O. Chase. The new museum was completed in 1993. At that time the name of the museum was changed to “Sanford Museum” to better reflect the museum’s dual mission of collecting and exhibiting items relating to both the city and the man. The Henry Shelton Sanford Memorial Library and Museum remained in the center of the building.”³

On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit the state of Florida. While primarily affecting south Florida, the storm had a state-wide impact concerning relief and recovery. Hurricane Andrew is one of four Category 5 hurricanes to hit the state. There were 65 death associated with the storm and it caused approximately $27 billion in damages.

Hurricane Andrew as it approaches the state


In 1992, parts of the action film Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes, were filmed at the then-Orlando Sanford Regional Airport, where it represented a small airport in Louisiana. Shortly after filming, a new control tower was built and air traffic control operations assumed by the FAA. The Navy control tower and the large Navy hangar to which it was attached were demolished. In 1995, the airport officially became the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.


SFB- Sanford International Airport


Happening in the world

1990- The Leaning Tower of Pisa is closed to the public because of safety concerns.

1990- U.S. President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to protect disabled Americans from discrimination.

1991-  Ötzi, also called the Iceman, the natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE. was found in September in the Ötztal Alps in southern Austria

1992-  White South Africans vote in favor of political reforms which will end the apartheid regime and create a power-sharing multi-racial government.

1994 The first passengers travel through the Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel”, the underwater tunnel which connects France and Great Britain.



  1. Sanford Herald article:
  2. The Foundation for Evangelism website.
  4. Hurricane Andrew photo: