Church Symbolism and History
The symbols in the church building and grounds become alive and meaningful
when we use them to draw closer to God.
This powerfully brilliant
stained glass window offers the observers the opportunity to gaze upon this
contemporary art form and interpret its meaning personally. Some say that the
four red figures at the base symbolize the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John. Others say that the figures represent today's followers of Christ. Some
will see the figures in the forefront of the window as if leading; some will see
the figures in the back of the window as if following; others will see the
figures standing beneath the cross, worshipping. No matter how one sees these
figures, all can agree that all of these interpretations describe the behaviors
of true disciples: they lead the way, taking the name of Jesus into the world;
they follow the way of the cross, doing as Jesus commanded; and they stand at
the foot of the cross remembering Christ and what he did for us.
most noticeable feature of the sanctuary is the roof. Nine sturdy beams rest on
buttresses to form triangles symbolic of the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the
Son, and the Holy Spirit. As the roof sweeps heavenward on the north end, it
forms the symbolic praying hands of a grateful believer. Inside, the beams with
their wood decking reminds one of the boat or ark: The Church as the Ark of
The rich wood of pine, fir, spruce, maple, and cherry, was quarried from a seam
at Bradenton, Florida. These native products remind us that the Christian
Church, Disciple of Christ, began as a movement on American soil around 1800.
The heavy glass sanctuary doors symbolize the invitation
of Christ to "Come unto me." We believe we are not the only Christians, but we
seek all to unite with us to be Christians.
The sanctuary has been designed to focus the worshipers' attention toward the
chancel and be involved in giving glory to God. At the center, in the "Upper
Room," is the communion table. Each Lord's Day the
bread and cup are blessed and served by the laity to all who seek a deeper
relationship with Christ. Behind the table and under the highest point of the
roof is the baptistery where the greatest act of Christian discipleship takes
place and the Holy Spirit descends as promised by Jesus.
The Memorial Garden located between the sanctuary and fellowship hall, offers
Christians a place to reflect on their lives, remember their loved ones, and
ponder their future.
The thirteen concrete cantilever columns
over the south walkway are symbols
of the apostolic, new testament foundation of the church in Jesus and the
twelve. We seek to pattern church life and devotion after the new testament
church and serve the world as modern "disciples."
May 7, 1925 is given as the date when
the First Christian Church of Melbourne began its life as a Christian community.
However, there was activity related to the Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ) in that area long before 1925.
By the spring of 1925, a group of Christians who had been
meeting in the Women's Exchange Hall, felt strong enough to establish itself as
a congregation. The first yearbook listed 30 members.
In 1947, the building which had previously been a
Presbyterian church, was moved to a site on Palmetto Avenue. The congregation
continued to grow, and by 1960, there were in excess of 300 members.
The population explosion in Brevard County caused by the
expansion of the space industry brought rapid growth to FCCM. Since further
expansion of the Palmetto property was impossible, a new site on Babcock Street
was purchased. Today's church stands on this property.
Being part of the dedicated Disciples' Regional Church
allowed FCCM to face the economic crunch that all of Brevard County had to
endure in the 1970s when severe cutbacks in the space program caused an economic
crisis. Through the cooperation of the congregation, the Region and the Board of
Church Extension, the refinancing of the mortgage became a reality, thus allowing
the church to continue to grow and serve the community. In the minds of many,
the refinancing was a miracle in itself.
Following the hurricanes of 2004, FCCM began nearly three years of
renovation. After much work, many labor-intensive hours, and prayers, the
sanctuary was refurbished, making it a total statement of praise unto God.