Spontaneous response in Florida shows faith alive and well, even at the beach on Easter

Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM.

Due to the seasonal nature of the town's population, Young's congregation is almost always different each week.

"Our congregation changes just about every Sunday. It's a very unique gathering for sure," said Young.

"We joke that we have three congregations. We have our local people that live in the area. There's probably 150 of those people that come on a regular basis. And then we have who we call our part-timers and they are people who own second homes in the area and they'll come as often as once a month or once a quarter," said Young. The other group covers first-timers "who are just on vacation and they hear about us while they are on vacation," notes Young. "At any given time 40 percent of our church would be local people while the other 60 percent is a mix of part-timers and vacationers.”

Regular Sunday services are held from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. in the community's Town Hall. Chapel at the Beach does not own a church building and has no desire to acquire one, says Pastor Young. The church is a big supporter of missionary evangelism and 55 percent of its budget goes toward that work.

And while the Chapel's Easter service is kept just steps away from the beach, no one has ever showed up to the relaxed service in a swimsuit, not because they don't want to, but usually at the time of the service it's usually "quite early and very cool."

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