Eatonville’s most historic church receives donation from Garber Development
Posted on October 12, 2021 by Brooke Jones
EATONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2021) – For decades, St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest church in Eatonville and most historic African American church in the U.S., has had access issues with its property. Garber Development, a leading development firm with projects throughout Florida, is solving the problem with a major donation.
Garber Development is donating a valuable parcel to the church. St. Lawrence AME Church is committed to its congregation and local community, and often hosts events for all of its neighbors to enjoy. The parcel will provide better access to St. Lawrence AME Church and provide more space for parking and community events.
The 6,969-square-foot parcel is adjacent to church, which is located at 549 E Kennedy Blvd. It’s valued at $106,600. Throughout the long history of St. Lawrence AME Church, this is the first time it has owned the land.
“St. Lawrence AME Church is extremely grateful for the generous donation Garber Development has made,” said Rev. Terrell L Blair, Sr. “This parcel will open up access to the church and provide valuable space for parking and events for our community.”
St. Lawrence AME Church was first founded in 1881, prior to the settling of Eatonville, and was the first establishment in the town. It’s the oldest black municipality incorporated in the U.S. People travel from all over the country to view the church’s collection of historic murals painted by Andre Smith, founder of the Maitland Art Center.
Lamont Garber, owner of Garber Development, first became involved with St. Lawrence AME Church through its food pantry program. Garber was inspired by the church’s mission and became committed to supporting it through donations and volunteering. When he discovered how much the parcel would help the church, he felt called to donate it.
“It’s so inspiring learning about St. Lawrence AME Church’s long history and seeing its mission in action,” said Garber. “The church plays a large role in the Eatonville community and I’m happy to see the good use they’ll put the parcel to.”
On Sunday, Oct. 10, St. Lawrence AME Church hosted a dedication service to recognize Garber Development’s contribution.
To download photos and video from the ceremony, click here.
About Garber Development
Led by visionary developer Lamont Garber, Garber Development has acquired unique and strategic holdings throughout the state of Florida, including the Winter Park/Maitland area and vibrant downtown Orlando. Committed to creating beautiful places to live, work and play, Garber Development transformed the State Auto building and revitalized The Point. They are also developing Maitland Market on Horatio, re-envisioning the historic United Trophy building on Orange Avenue, and have plans to create a food hall at Central City Station, a 16,000 square foot building located across from Exploria Stadium. The company also owns and operates Garber Communities, a collection of manufactured housing communities and RV resorts.