Sarasota Church Has a New Home

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After being an associate pastor for nine years, Pastor Eric Want knew that God was leading him to plant a church in the Sarasota area. Now, Want is the senior pastor of Freedom Christian Church.

Seven years ago, Want and his family gathered in a home with five other couples and began to pray. It was in the midst of these prayer gatherings that stirred up a desire in their hearts to launch a Sunday morning service. Desiring to move into a space to accommodate a service, they met in an office building for a real estate company. After one year, those five couples grew to over 50 faithful members. Because of this growth, for the last six years, Freedom Christian Church has been renting a Fellowship Hall space from Beneva Christian, a Disciples of Christ church, and have been averaging over 100 in attendance and have baptized over 50 in 2018.

“We are seeing God move. People being saved and baptized,” said Want.

Due to the growth and the desire to have their own space and freedom to serve more people, they began praying and searching for a space to call their own. After many years of sharing an area, they closed on a property on March 28th. Although the property was a former Messianic synagogue, Want hopes that Freedom Christian Church can breathe new life into the space.

“We began to be proactive in looking and God opened a door about a mile and a half away,” said Want. “We are excited. God has been so good in providing us a building of our own in order to do more ministry and serve more people.”

Including their savings, they raised $35,000 in one day to make the $100,000 down payment possible. The Florida Baptist Convention then came right beside them and provided a loan for the remainder of the note.

When asked what the future of Freedom Christian Church looks like, Want said his “hope is that we never lose sight of the Great Commission and we bring that back into focus.” Want is even going to preach on the topic of the Great Commission for the Dedication Service scheduled for June 30th. “We are going to reach one person at a time. My goal is for us to grow by conversion, not by transfer.”

Want ended by encouraging pastors and others in ministry to run the race set before them and make reaching people the priority. “Realize the Gospel has been left to us by Jesus Christ. We have a tremendous responsibility in reaching people,” said Want. “I pray that God will rekindle their desire to continue in ministry, for pastors to have a hunger, spread the Gospel, and serve Him and reach the lost.”

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