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Evangelist buys St. James Episcopal

Velma Childers, new owner of the St. James Episcopal Church.St. James Episcopal Church in Macclenny has gone through a tumultuous period in recent years following a schism of the congregation in 2006 over the Episcopal church’s liberal views on homosexuality.

But a long-time Christian evangelist from Glasgow, Kentucky is ready to breath new life into the once vacant 2625-square-foot church at 50 W. Minnesota Ave. Velma Childers, president of the nonprofit Velma Childers Evangelistic Association, purchased the property from the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Florida, Inc. in late March for $100,000, about $5000 less than its market value per the county property appraiser’s office.

Ms. Childers has been spreading the word of Christ throughout the country and the world for the last 50 years. Her broadcast ministry titled “Forgiven” is filmed in Clearwater, FL and available on a half-dozen satellite and network stations.

Ms. Childers said her immediate plans for the church include Friday evening services and perhaps prayer meetings on Monday mornings, but she won’t solicit members from other churches or hold Sunday services.

The 48-year-old structure may be available for  weddings or special events in the future.

“I don’t want to interfere with other pastors,” said Ms. Childers, who after decades of travel in the U.S. and abroad is ready to slow down. She plans to take up permanent residency in the area.

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