LAKE PLACID – The Lake Placid members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been holding their church meetings at a newly purchased property in Lake Placid since late September while doing renovations to the two buildings on the property purchased from The Ministry Center.
The property is at 770 County Road 29 (16.9 acres) and will be utilized to hold church meetings and classes, social gatherings, etc. The main building is 6,889 square feet, with the smaller building measuring 1,610 square feet and the members are ready to host an open house to welcome the community to come visit.
“Our [first] sacrament meeting there was an incredible experience; with 78 people there, we had almost double the average attendance,” said Kevin Smith who is the Stake President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Lake Placid area as well as for Sebring, Palm Bay, Fort Pierce, Okeechobee and Vero Beach. “This made for very uplifting meetings, and for a gospel doctrine class in which we needed to bring in 15 or so more chairs,” Smith said.
The church meetinghouse is a hub of religious and social life, with the most important part of the week being the hour-long sacrament meeting that takes place on Sundays. Anyone can enter this chapel to visit or worship with their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint neighbors.
The worldwide church membership is currently more than 16 million and they hold meetings in approximately 30,550 wards and branches (or congregations) in their meetinghouses throughout the world. Some buildings are shared by two or more separate congregations meeting at different times. This was the case with the members of the Lake Placid members until this year; they had been traveling to Sebring to hold their meetings and sacrament services. Now they are excited to have their own building right in Lake Placid. The members meet weekly as a group and in smaller gatherings several other times throughout each week.
For members, the buildings they use for their various worship services and other gatherings are important, but what matters most is the building that goes on within their walls – the building of strong individuals and families, of knowledge, or relationships and of faith in God. Individuals and families strive to help each other to overcome life’s challenges by learning about Jesus Christ and striving to become like Him.
Much of the renovations to the building were done by members of the church who volunteered their time and talents. They rewired, resurfaced, repainted and refurbished as they erected walls, installed sound equipment, replaced tilework, and revamped the locking system. The Branch President for the Lake Placid branch says that the members love their new property and attendance has increased since the doors opened for church services. He fully expects that the attendance will continue to grow more and more.
The open house will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. All are welcome. There will also be a dedication of the building the next day after the regularly scheduled sacrament meeting.