Relics from Greek church may end up in future Sandestin chapel


Pews from St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Destin were given to Tom Becknel for use in a chapel he plans to build in Sandestin.

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM.

A piece of Destin's history has moved down the road and may be kept alive in Sandestin.

After reading articles about the sale of St. John's Greek Orthodox Church in The Log, Tom Becnel, a local developer and the owner of Sandestin, contacted Mike Buckingham who had purchased the church.

"Mike donated the pews to be used in a chapel I was planning for Sandestin," Becnel told The Log. "He is also willing to donate other artifacts he will have no use for, such as the Bishop's Chair and the sconces, once building begins on the chapel."

Becnel had chosen a site on Sandestin Boulevard on the bayside of the property, which was not in use, and requested from the Sandestin Homeowner's Association permission to build on it.

"They declined," he said. "They preferred to leave it in its natural state. I was somewhat disappointed."

When asked for comment, the SOA provided The Log with a letter from Ken Lloyd, SOA Board president, to Becnel.

“We are supportive of a nondenominational gathering group in Sandestin. However, at this time after careful study by a special subcommittee and by action of the Board of Directors, we believe it is in the best interest of the community to retain the property on Sandestin Boulevard North and not allow it to be transferred from the SOA’s ownership,” the letter states in part.

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