BY MARIA SONNENBERG
The former St. Andrew’s Episcopal chapel travels up the Indian River to its new home in Satellite Beach.
HOLY APOSTLES EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Fort Pierce chapel thriving years after
its relocation to Satellite Beach
The men who built the first St. Andrew’s Episcopal
Church in Fort Pierce in 1902 could not
possibly have imagined that the little chapel
they crafted would one day cast off to sea.
The story of this peripatetic chapel is so unique that
it made headlines in Life magazine and The New York
Times, as well as in newspapers as far away as London.
The reason for all this interest was the fact that St.
Andrew’s took to the water, the Indian River Lagoon,
to be exact, on its way to becoming Holy Apostles
Episcopal Church in Satellite Beach.
But we’re getting ahead of the story.
It all began in the early 1950s, when young families
flocked to the Space Coast, lured by job opportunities
in the booming space program. Housing developments
sprouted up and down the coastline, particularly
around the new town of Satellite Beach, but when it
came to churches, pickings were lean.
The nearest church for Satellite Beach Episcopalians
was in Eau Gallie, so the Diocese of South Florida
granted permission in 1957 for a barrier island mission
in the beachside town.
Through bake and rummage sales, puppet shows
and dances, the congregation of 30 families amassed
$7,500 to purchase 1 ½ acres in Eau Gallie Shores. All
they needed was a church building. >>