St. Martin’s Anglican Church began with a few members in various borrowed locations. Within a short period of time, the Lord provided a small country chapel located in farmland surrounding the town of Ocala, FL. Although far to the Northwest of the little town and directly across from a major rock quarry, the faithful congregation trusted in the leading of our Lord and signed a mortgage for the little chapel. Shortly thereafter, a small pre-built home and land just next door was added.
Our Lord is so very gracious to the courageous hearts of our parish family. The rather large rock quarry across the street is now one of the largest and most beautiful golf courses and clubhouse in Central Florida with plans for the construction of a number of clubhouse homes on the 1,000+ acres remaining.
Within the last 18 months donations from members of our congregation, now 266% larger than three years ago, allowed us to completely refurbish our country chapel with pews built to order, new floors, new windows, new doors, new lighting, and sound system. To our wonder, donations were made to create the first phase of a small garden; plant materials placed around our chapel through a design provided by a local landscape artist. A short time later, God provided donations through our parish family to complete our garden in the spring of this year with the installation of pavers, lighting, fountain, and statuary in our new ‘St. Francis Prayer Garden.’ We will now, truly, be a ‘country chapel in the garden.’
Finally, our Lord led clergy to our church from other parts of our country. We are now able to greatly increase our use of the previous ‘gifts’ in so many new and beautiful ways!
The Lord has provided to our little church. It is now time to share these gifts with our surrounding community. We cannot even imagine what the Lord has in store for us, but, we will once again, prayerfully step out in Faith!
St. Brigid’s Ministry at St. Martin’s
Members of St. Brigid’s Ministry at St. Martin’s provide supply baskets for new born children and their mothers at the local pregnancy center in Ocala and knit hats for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Foreign Missions in India
Our parish supports the Good Shepherd School and foster home program for unwanted children in Andraha Pradesh (Hyderabad) India.
Interfaith Emergency Services
Our parish regularly collects food products to support our local community’s interfaith efforts to feed and clothe those less fortunate within our community.
Children’s Home Society
Our parish family works directly with the Children’s Home Society to both clothe and provide school supplies for children in the foster care system as well as providing Christmas toys.
Each year our small parish family works with the Salvation Army to provide Christmas bears for youngsters in our community.
St. Martha’s Ministry
St. Martha’s Ministry is a very special ministry within our parish providing support for our church functions, including coffee hours, Lenten meals, and other special events.
The Rev. Dr. David Sokol was ordained to the priesthood on January 19, 1997. He has served as university teaching and research faculty, vice president for administration, and treasurer as well as chief operations officer in both public universities and private church-related institutions of higher education. He also served as the executive director for a church-related, urban, multi-county residential complex for physically and sexually abused children.
Fr. Sokol and his family are now planting a commercial vineyard in central Florida, concentrating on the growth of sub-tropic specific hybrid grape varietals. The family owned commercial winery is scheduled to open in the year 2016.
Fr. Sokol’s previous books are available at all major book sellers and include: The Anglican Prayer Life, and, Compassionate Care: The Enhanced Mission of the Sacramental Church to Those Facing Life-Threatening Illness and to the Dying. Fr. Sokol’s next book, The Most Personal Relationship: Abiding in Jesus Christ ~ The Holy Eucharist, is scheduled for publication in 2016.