Perched on a hill, partially obscured by shade trees, sits one of Mount Dora’s oldest churches. Mount Dora Congregational Church was built in four short months in 1886 with a price tag of $3,471.
Times have changed and so has the cost to repair the aging wooden church. Over a century of Florida weather has taken its toll on the church’s bell tower, which was completed in 1887. One of its large support beams is weather-damaged and requires a replacement. According to the church’s pastor, Gary A. Marshall, the estimated cost is approximately $40,000. Mount Dora Community Trust agreed to donate $20,000 if the congregation could raise the remaining funds. As a result, a gofundme account was established to accept community donations to help bridge the funding gap.
This isn’t the first time the community has pitched in the help the historic church. In 2014, a local business, PizzAmore, raised money to help the congregation repair the aging church’s spire, the pointed portion of the steeple.
The small church, located on the corner of Donnelly Street and Seventh Avenue, has a bit of a storied past. Reportedly, the small congregation’s guests at services included President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge and the notorious gangster Al Capone.
Anyone wishing to help can donate to their gofundme here. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. To get the area's top stories in your inbox once a month, sign up for the free monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz here.