It was definitely a week to celebrate for the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Cape Coral.
On Thursday, the church celebrated the first anniversary of its community services center downtown.
On Saturday, the congregation got together following its service on Saturday to break ground on a new $2 million worship center and classroom complex at its location at 1813 El Dorado Parkway, West, thanks to the generosity of many of its members.
The congregation at The Seventh Day Adventist Church of Cape Coral gathers during the groundbreaking ceremony for a new sanctuary on Saturday at the church.
The new building will be used for services and Bible study, as the original structure has gotten too cramped for its nearly 180 person congregation.
"As we were worshipping together, we would occasionally bump into each other. One person said we needed a new church," said Pastor Roger Lucas. "We visited and found out he was willing to grant us $1 million to start a new worship center."
The congregation and other people in and out of state have matched that, Lucas said.
Lucas is hopeful the new structure will be completed in time for Christmas, certainly in time for next Easter. When completed, the current building will be used for offices and as a place for fellowship, as currently it has to be transformed for lunch following services.
For those in the congregation, it's a matter of counting the days.
"We've been waiting for this day to arrive and it's finally here. We have the opportunity to invite more people to come worship here," said parishioner Elvia Fern.
"It's been a great week. We've come here every night to praise God for all the miracles he's provided so we can build a new sanctuary," said Rita Hartman. "We're looking forward to the new project and the mercies God is going to provide."
The Adventist Community Services center at 829 S.E. 47th Terrace, across from the bus depot, offers food, clothing and resource counseling to those in need Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"It's there for anyone in need. We give them food and clothing, which helps them a lot," said church deaconess Peggy Sterriker. "We've done all this by word of mouth, without any advertising."
The Thursday event featured several members of the Cape Coral Police Department, and Councilmember Lenny Nesta. Since it was Thursday, the offices were open, allowing those in need to get they needed, Sterriker said.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church of Cape Coral was founded seven years ago, worshiping first at Gulf Elementary School before moving to its present location in 2009.