little white church (lwc)
While faithful people were meeting on the site of Bee Ridge Presbyterian, they didn’t formally become a church until 1917. However, there was still no church building until Mrs. Potter Palmer presented the church with the corner lots at McIntosh and Proctor Roads (then called Bee Ridge Rd) in 1919. On December 7th of 1919 the original “Little White Church” was dedicated.
That version of the LWC was in existence until a major category 3 hurricane demolished it in 1926. It was rebuilt and dedicated in 1927. That version of the LWC survived only 3 months before being struck by lightening and burning to the ground. The third version of the LWC was built and dedicated on August 27, 1927. That church is still standing today, albeit in a slightly different location.
The LWC was originally located where the main sanctuary is currently located. Proctor Road was a small horse cart road only 1 lane in width. The LWC remained in that location until growth of the congregation necessitated a larger sanctuary. It was relocated to the site where it sits today.
The pews and floors are original to the church. The original entrance was in what is now the south facing wall, but a new entrance was created in the north wall. Over the years a ramp and additional door in the south west wall for ADA accessibility and carpet running up the center aisle have all been added.
The LWC maximum capacity is approximately 80 people, has a very warm intimate feel, and is a favorite with visitors and congregants alike. Bee Ridge Presbyterian utilizes it for special worship services as well as weddings/recommitment and funeral/memorial services. The Korean Presbyterian Church uses it for regular Sunday worship services.
The church is listed on the county’s historic places registry.
We’ve also been informed it’s a Pokemon Stop!
We are happy to arrange tours for those interested in using it for ceremonies, or those just wishing to see inside.