Senior Minister & Books
Sunshine Cathedral is a different kind of church where the past is the past and the future has infinite possibilities. We are happy you have discovered Sunshine Cathedral! We are a community committed to learning, to growing, to loving, to sharing.
We hold a variety of beliefs, and individual beliefs are likely to change over time. We affirm that each of us is a child of God, intrinsically good and blessed to be a blessing to our world.
Sunshine Cathedral is a learning community and a teaching community. We challenge one another to apply critical thinking and practical reason to the myths and metaphors of ancient scriptures. Our commitment isn’t to dogmatic certainty but to living lives that are hope-filled, peace-loving, and justice-seeking. We affirm that all people have sacred value and are made in the divine image.
If you are in the Fort Lauderdale area please visit us in person. If you live elsewhere, visit us in “Second Life” where you can experience virtual church or watch our streaming video sermons on the Cathedral website. All of us who make up this extraordinary, joyful, and blessed community welcome you. We invite you to consider making this church your spiritual home.
Rev. Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div., DMin.
Everything we do or say at the Sunshine Cathedral affirms the infinite possibilities of gathering in community to make a difference in ourselves, each other, and our world. We do this with intentionality, authenticity, transparency, and joy.
Sunshine Cathedral Affirmation:
“The Sunshine Cathedral is a different kind of church where the past is past and the future has infinite possibilities!”
Our Mission is: To rescue religion from irrelevance,
practice positive thinking, be justice workers, build community, value diversity,
and help people experience peace, hope, and joy in their lives.
Our Core Values are:
Our Message is:
All people have sacred value.
God is omnipresent Love.
Rooted in the Christian tradition and the Gay Rights Movement, we are an inclusive church for ALL kinds of people.
On these pages you will find links to guiding documents, board minutes, membership information, affiliated organizations and more.
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 Metropolitan Community Churches outside of California). 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 and eventually a new building was purchased on SW 27th Street.
In 1986, the Right Reverend Grant Lynn Ford was called as the new pastor. Ford was a former Assemblies of God pastor and a bishop in the “Old Catholic” tradition. 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 Ninth Ave.
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 Ave, Sunshine Cathedral has become the home to The Samaritan Institute (originally named Light University) – the religious education program of Sunshine Cathedral, and the McArtor Senior Center, as well as to support groups, youth programs, the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, the Metaphysical Chapel of South Florida, 12 Step Groups, a youth group, and other community organizations.
In the summer of 2006, the Reverend Dr. Durrell Watkins joined the staff of Sunshine Cathedral as the Canon Precentor (liturgist) and on November 3rd, 2007, Durrell was installed as the new Senior Minister of Sunshine Cathedral. Durrell is a graduate of both Union Theological Seminary in New York City (MDiv) and the Episcopal Divinity School (DMin).
In 2008 the Cathedral completed the remodeling of its Chancel. A four manual Trillium Masterpiece Rodgers Organ with ten ranks of Fratelli Ruffatti pipes (from Padua, Italy) was installed, making the Walt Lawrence & Stephen Lewis Center for Worship & the Arts at the Sunshine Cathedral a first-class performance space.
In 2016 the Sunshine Cathedral Board of Directors voted unanimously to join the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC, a member of the National and World Councils of Churches). 2016 was also the year the property’s mortgage was completely retired.
Sunshine Cathedral has had 6 pastors in its 45+ year history:
Rev. Ted Callaway (1972 – 1973)
Rev. Don Hoffman (1973 – 1974)
Rev. Peter Wilson (1974 – 1975)
from 1975 – 1976 the congregation was lay led
Rev. Elder John Gill (1976 – 1986)
Rt. Rev. Grant Lynn Ford (1986 – 2007)
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins (2007 – )
About Sunshine Cathedral
Welcome to Sunshine Cathedral Website
Rev Dr Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister
We affirm that all people have sacred value and are made in the divine image.
Sunshine Cathedral is a different kind of church where the past is the past and the future has infinite possibilities.
We are happy you have discovered Sunshine Cathedral! We are a community committed to learning, to growing, to loving, to sharing. We hold a variety of beliefs, and individual beliefs are likely to change over time.
We affirm that each of us is a divine child of God, intrinsically good and blessed to be a blessing to our world.
READ MORE from Rev Dr Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister.
Click here to purchase books by Rev Dr Durrell Watkins: Pastor Durrell’s Books.