The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, founded in Venice as a mission congregation in 1988, has completed a $400,000 building renovation.
The project, which began in the spring of 2015, includes a newly designed and expanded sanctuary as well as extensive interior and exterior repairs and improvements.
The Rev. Gary A. Wilde, Rector of Good Shepherd, said parishioners will celebrate completion of the project with an open house for friends, neighbors and the general public on November 1.
Bishop Michael Garrison will consecrate the new sanctuary in February.
Architecture and construction was provided by Stroop Design and Construction of Sarasota. The parish finance committee responsible for raising funds for the project is headed by Steve Eibling. John Buntel is project manager for the parish and coordinated on site daily with the primary contractor and all subcontractors until final clean-up.
“This beautification of Good Shepherd Church is a testament to the parishioners themselves, who provided the funds, and my gratitude for their generosity is unbounded,” Fr. Wilde said.
The church began its life with worshippers meeting at the nearby YMCA until construction of a building in 1993 on its present site at 1115 Center Road. The original structure consisted of a chapel and screened-in courtyard. Eleven years later, office space, classrooms and a library were added and the courtyard was enclosed for use as a parish hall.
In 2005, Good Shepherd completed the transition from mission to parish status in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. The original 76-member congregation now has 343 members.