ANNA MARIA -- For 100 years, the Roser Memorial Chapel near the Anna Maria City Pier at 512 Pine Ave. has offered residents and visitors a place to meditate and pray.
John Roser, father of Charles Roser, one of Anna Maria Island's early land development partners, wanted a chapel open to all people. By the spring of 1913, the chapel had been designed, constructed, dedicated and open for use.
With funds provided by Charles Roser and with Capt. Mitch Davis as builder, the John and Caroline Roser Memorial Chapel was constructed and donated to the people of Anna Maria Island, with the stipulation it always be the community church, not reflective of any particular religious denomination.
The chapel remains a treasured spiritual refuge and resource for island residents and visitors. Their gift of the Roser Memorial Chapel lives on in ways that probably exceed their fondest hopes, because they could not imagine the hosts of faithful Christian disciples who would come after them, to build on and expand their original legacy, church officials said.
The Rosers have been gone from the island for nearly a century yet their legacy lives on in their place.
The much-larger 400 seat sanctuary now houses the congregation's weekly worship, and even that capacity cannot accommodate the winter worship attendance without a second worship service each Sunday during season. Other buildings on the church campus now provide space for the church's music ministry, community food pantry, thrift store, and storage garages.
The congregation now comes from Anna Maria Island and beyond. To add your name to the legacy, roll over an IRA-required minimum distribution to Roser. If you are 7½ and "Rollover to Roser" by Dec. 31 you will avoid all federal income taxes on any funds given to Roser from your IRA. This tax benefit expires after 2013.
Information: Bev Shepperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-778-0414.