Previous Senior Pastors
Rev. C.W. Latham
(January 28, 1916 – 1924)
Rev. (Major) Augustus E. Barnett
(October 1, 1924 – October 1, 1927)
Rev. B. Lowry Bowman
(September 21, 1928 – September 1942)*
(December 1945 – December 1952)
Dr. John E. Abbott
(November 1942 – December 1945)
*Service during Dr. Bowman's
absence as U.S. Army Chaplain
Previous Senior Pastors (cont.)
Rev. J. Moody McNair
(February 1954 – November 1969)
Rev. John H. LaMotte
(December 1969 – December 1983)
Rev. Douglas Blair
(March 1985 – March 1987)
Rev. C. James Hinch
(August 1988 – December 1994)
Dr. Susan Forester DeWyngaert
(May 1997 – March 2011)
Dr. W. Glen Bell
(January 2012 - present)
Previous Associate Pastors
Rev. Robert Ford
Rev. Lawrence H. Richards
Rev. Day Carper
Rev. James V. Morrow
Rev. Robert H. Teed
Rev. Joseph Albright
Rev. Clayton Thomas
Rev. Melanie Kim Hammel
Rev. Kelly Fitzgerld
Previous Assistant Ministers
Rev. Paul H. Moehlman
Rev. Maurice L. Stone
Previous Ministers of Education
Rev. William L. Painter
Rev. Robert J. Sherman
In 1950 the current sanctuary was built. In 1954 the congregation voted to relocate the church school section to the East Courtyard at the rear of the original sanctuary, add a second story to the relocated section, air-condition the worship building, and construct a manse south of the Sanctuary. By 1956 in addition to the approximately five hundred members, the church provided services for hundreds of tourists during the winter season. In 1970 a second manse was purchased across the street.
The education and office additions were built in 1976. They were located to the north and west of the original Sanctuary building. At this time the old basement was filled with dirt; the first floor of the original Sanctuary building was converted into Fellowship Hall with a second floor; and an elevator installed. The second floor became the Cowden Library and Conference room.
Renovations were made to the Chancel of the main Sanctuary's interior in 1991 along with the demolition of the south manse to provide room for a new Fellowship Hall, new Courtyard, and Youth Loft. At the same time other remodeling occurred throughout the existing building, a new Parlor and Chapel were created from the former Fellowship Hall.
The Hispanic Ministry was started by Rev. Dr. Nicandro E. Gonzalez on April 22, 2001, with Sunday services in Spanish in the Chapel and opportunities for fellowship throughout the year. After his passing only a few months later his widow, Dr. Iris Gonzalez, continued his vision, and the work of the Hispanic ministry continued.
On February 8, 2008, the Church dedicated a new bell tower, a gift from the Stottlemyer family, which began to be used for weddings, memorial services and as a call to worship.
In May 2014, the church library, located on the second floor of the administrative building, was dedicated and renamed The Cowden-Smith Library in honor of and grateful for the witness of Annabelle Cowden and Natalie Smith who served faithfully as our librarians.
Today, First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota continues to make an impact on the local and global community with a vibrant membership of individuals, couples and families of all ages.