Church Symbolism and History

The Symbolism

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.

The 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 Salvation.

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.”

Church History

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, serving our congregation since 1965.

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.