Sarasota, FL, a city (pop. 40,000 in 1959; pop. 54,349 in 2004) in Sarasota County on the west coast, 50 miles south of Tampa. In the late 1950s the population doubled in winter. About 300 Mennonites lived permanently in the area, winter visitors increasing this number to 1,000-1,500. Both permanent settlers and winter tourists were scattered throughout the city and surrounding vicinity, the largest concentration being in Pinecraft just outside the city limits to the southeast. The first settlers came in 1927. There was a very gradual increase until 1945, since when there had been a sharp increase annually.
There were five organized (Old) Mennonite churches (MC) in the Sarasota area as follows in the late 1950s: Bay Shore (Ohio Mennonite Conference), membership 187, within the city; Bahia Vista (formerly Tuttle Avenue, Virginia Mennonite Conference), membership 93, within the city; Newton Community Chapel (African American mission, Virginia Mennonite Conference), membership 12), within the city; Pinecraft (Lancaster Mennonite Conference), membership 30, in Pinecraft; and Palm Grove (Conservative Mennonite Conference), membership 40, in Pinecraft. Some Old Order Amish also held services in homes in Pinecraft in winter but had not organized a congregation. Practically all branches of Mennonites and Amish were represented in the thousands of Mennonites who spent some time here each winter. The number of young married and retired couples who were establishing their homes here was on the increase during the late 1950s. There was no important industry in the city, many Mennonites depending upon the building industry for a livelihood.
|Author(s)||T. H Brenneman|
 Cite This Article
Brenneman, T. H. "Sarasota (Florida, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 12 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sarasota_(Florida,_USA)&oldid=77420.
Brenneman, T. H. (1959). Sarasota (Florida, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sarasota_(Florida,_USA)&oldid=77420.
Herald Press website.
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