Sanford church closes its doors after nearly 100 years of worship

Ninety-nine years of worship coming to an end Sunday as the First Presbyterian Church of Sanford closed its doors for the final time.

"The building will retire and the ministry will go on through the church," Pastor Hugh Lackey said.

Lackey has been the pastor at First Presbyterian of Sanford for four years.

He's also the pastor at Lake Mary's First Presbyterian Church. That's where his Sanford congregation will be attending church from now on.

"Sad and happy; sad because I know how much this building has meant to so many members," he said. "This has been the house of worship that they've been in most of their lives in many cases."

Debbie Whitehead is one of those lifetime members. She's been attending the church for over five decades.

"I've been going to this church for 55 years. It's all I've known. I was married here. Both my children were baptized here. It's a very sad day," Whitehead said.

The church is a historical landmark and won't be turned down. Instead, it will be sold.

"We hope that someone will come along and have a perfect use for it," Lackey said. "And we look forward to seeing that materialize in the years to come. I love this congregation. I feel for them, but I also look forward to ministering to them as we go forward."