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On October 6, 1968, the first MCC gathering was held in California under the leadership of Reverend Troy D. Perry. MCC was founded to provide a new church home where everyone would be welcome.
Church of the Holy Spirit MCC was founded in Fort Lauderdale in 1971 by a group who were traveling to Miami to worship at Christ MCC (one of the first churches in MCC outside of California). Bob Horton was one of those travelers and a founding member of Church of the Holy Spirit (Bob is an active member of Sunshine even today). Ted Calloway was the first pastor of the small group that met in private homes, bars, and for a while in the Realty Building Auditorium.
Finally, the small group bought a property at SW 2nd Court in Sailboat Bend. The group flourished and called the Reverend Elder John Gill to be their pastor. Reverend Gill was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Under John’s leadership, the church continued to grow, so eventually a new building had to be purchased on SW 27th Street.
In 1986, the Reverend Grant Lynn Ford was called as the new pastor. During his pastorate, the church on 27th Street was remodeled, the name of the church was changed to Sunshine Cathedral, and in 2001 the church moved to its current location at 1480 SW 9th Avenue.
In 2000 the Sunshine Cathedral Foundation was formed to raise funds for capital campaigns and endowments for the Cathedral.
Since being at our location on SW Ninth Avenue, Sunshine Cathedral has become the home to the Samaritan Institute (formerly known as Light University) – the religious education program of Sunshine Cathedral, the Sunshine Cathedral Foundation, and Sunshine Social Services (SunServe) which offers counseling services, the McArtor Adult Day Care Center, support groups, youth programs, and other important services. Sunshine Cathedral is actually home to almost 30 organizations now (including the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida).
In the summer of 2006 the Reverend Durrell Watkins joined the staff of Sunshine Cathedral as its liturgist and on November 3, 2007, Durrell was installed as the new Senior Minister of Sunshine Cathedral. Durrell is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.
Sunshine Cathedral is a multi-venue church, having held worship services and study groups in Jamaica and offering on-going worship services on the Internet and at two assisted living facilities as well as on its home campus in Fort Lauderdale. Plans for monthly, off-site/outdoor worship services are also underway.