‘Holy grounds' Point Washington UMC marks 125-year milestone

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 04:42 PM.

Houseman believed “that the congregation, like the church, was a splendid example of Christian beauty firmly witnessing to the extended community, the conference and the world — following [Methodism founder] John Wesley’s great proclamation, 'The world is my parish.' There is a wonderful excitement in the air about the church and its mission. The people are positive, motivated, and faithful.”

Growing church

Point Washington built a parsonage in 1981 and was now a “station” church. Pastor Mike Columbo, the first occupant, experimented with different service times and he was the one who started the beach service at Seaside. The Community Church in Santa Rosa Beach later took on that responsibility.

It was in 1990 that the church bought the lot east of the church at the urging of Van Ness Butler who said he saw growth on the horizon. Four men pledged the security of the loan and within a year it was paid off.

"We had many a work day on the lot for we had to take it 'as is," Houseman wrote in his history. "That means all the junk on it was ours! The brick pilings became the sidewalk in front of the parsonage. About 20 old windows were tossed only to find out years later people who do crafts wanted them enough to pay for them."

After an enormous bonfire to get rid of debris left by the house that stood on the property, church members cleared the land by hand.

"Mary Norris, Jonnye Butler, and Helen Strickland were a trio of weed whacking women with machete, hoe, and wrist power," Houseman wrote.

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