Mrs. Mildred Bishop, who had served as the church secretary for twenty-seven and one-half years, during the appointments of eight senior pastors and three associate pastors, retired in January 1983. Later, in June 1983, Rev. Leo King also retired after serving as our pastor for ten years.
Upon Rev. King’s retirement, Rev. George A. (Archie) Buie, III was appointed pastor.
A Building Committee existed, chaired by Tom McDonald, that had been considering the renovation of our sanctuary. A “wish list” had been made and was presented at a meeting with David Leonard of Leonard and Baugh Architects PA,. Upon receiving a positive response from David, the Sanctuary Committee met on February 19, 1984. Before plans were acted upon, they were put on hold.
The following was taken From the Pastor of the September 1984 edition of THE MESSENGER ( the monthly church newsletter).
At the August Administrative Board meeting, our District Superintendent, Dr. Robert Bledsoe, presented demographic information about our church and explained growth trends in the area. Both seemed to be toward the south and west. (We’re bound of the north by Lake Monroe) We would be responsible for reaching these new families for Christ and if we were unable to accomplish this, a new church would be built. The property had already been purchased on Markham-Woods Road and additional property was being secured in Lake Mary. This information combined with the problem of available parking space, the rising cost of building maintenance, and the fact that there are already four other large churches in the downtown area, led us to look at the possibilities available to us at this point in our history.
The Administrative Board authorized a Study Committee composed of Mabel Chapman, Ashby Jones, Tom McDonald, Nancy Terwilleger, Roger Harris, Carole Pegram, Ed Bedell, Boyd Coleman, Steve Hartsock, Frieda Tyre, Catherine Whelchel and Archie Buie, Pastor. Prayers from all members were requested for God’s guidance of the committed as they studied all aspects of the situation, received input from church members, and reported back to the Board their findings and recommendations. The two questions that were to be considered were:
- To remain where we are and develop an aggressive outreach program to be carried out by every member of the church and to build a strong program to attract new members. (The average attendance for July and August of 1984 was 137 in SS and 263 in worship.)
- To move the church to an area where it can more effectively minister to both our current members as well as the areas where new growth is now taking place.
The meeting room of Fellowship Hall was full at the November Board meeting and after much heated and diverse discussion, a vote was taken: we stayed.
Happening in Sanford
There was a massive population boom in Central Florida in the 1980s. “The biggest story of the1980s in Central Florida is the bigness of Central Florida. Every 7 1/2 minutes over the past 10 years, somebody new moved into one of the six Central Florida counties of Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, Brevard, and Volusia. That’s 181 people a day, 65,700 a year, and 657,000 new arrivals during the decade… The population of Florida grew by more than 3 million during the decade, moving into fourth place among the states in population. Florida passed Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois and grew by nearly 30 percent.”¹
Tourism took hold as a major portion of our state and local economy. “Disney World drew 10,000 visitors on its opening day in 1971. Now its three parks can do that kind of business in an hour. Disney World sold about 13 million admission tickets in 1980. Next year, Disney World, Epcot, and the movie studio will sell about 35 million tickets.”²
In June of 1982, Central Florida Regional Hospital opened on 17/92 on the shore of Lake Monroe. In 1980, the county sold the right to operate Seminole Memorial hospital, which was located at 1101 E. First Street. “The County renovated the old Seminole Memorial Hospital building and it has served as the County Services Facility since July 22, 1984, when the first Board of County Commissioners meeting was held.”³
In 1931, A. H. Moses, a produce dealer, donated the iconic downtown clock to the City of Sanford. The City then placed the clock on top of a pole and traffic signal at the intersection of First St and Park Ave, in front of The First National Bank… In the 1980s, the downtown renovation project had the clock refurbished by Stella Oritt, who was the granddaughter of Moses and her husband. Oritt refurbished the clock on the condition that it would remain on Magnolia Avenue, which is where she grew up. The clock was dedicated to Magnolia Square, located at the north end of South Magnolia Avenue near East First Street, on July 9, 1985.” 4
In the 1980s, a local sports hero was becoming a legend. “Tim Raines was born and raised in Sanford and attended Seminole High School where he was a four-sport athlete. He was drafted in 1977 by The Montreal Expos and that led to a 23-year career in the major leagues. Most notable achievements: 808 career stolen bases, good for 4th all-time; 1986 NL Batting Champion; 7-time all-star and 3 time World Series Champion.”5
Happening in the World
1978- The first Susan B. Anthony dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
1979- Margaret Thatcher becomes the UK’s first female Prime Minister
1981 – Space Shuttle Columbia with NASA astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen launches on the STS-1 mission, returning to Earth on April 14. It is the first time a manned reusable spacecraft has returned from orbit.
1983- President Ronald Reagan announces that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will be made available for civilian use.
1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative and the original formula is back on the market in less than three months.
1986 – Desmond Tutu becomes the first black Anglican Church bishop in South Africa.