To preserve Brooksville’s colorful history and charm, a downtown revitalization effort has been completed, thanks to local business owners, the City Council, and The Brooksville Vision Foundation (a group of dedicated volunteers who are committed to making Brooksville a sustainable city).
It is with their blessing and assistance that the First United Methodist Church of Brooksville launched this venture we believe makes our little touch of Americana even more special and exceptional. Wishing to further enhance the surroundings of downtown, we have developed The Brooksville Common.
Several church members including Gary Wilson, Dave Milliman, Joe Mason, and Gene Manuel formed a committee to make this dream into a reality. When asked about the project Dr. Wilson said “The Brooksville Common will undoubtedly add to the charm of downtown Brooksville. My hope is that this venture will also bring its residents closer together as they share their common interests and goals.”
The Common is located on the vacant lot between the First United Methodist Church and Patricia’s Boutique. “We like to think of this plot of land as ‘holy ground’. In 1914, the original First Presbyterian Church was built on this site and remained a House of God for nearly 40 years until its congregation relocated to Bell Avenue.
It provides a park-like setting with benches and tables offering a place for people to gather for lunch, coffee or relax and meditate. Out-of-towners coming to admire Antonio “Tony” Caparello’s Civil War Mural now have a comfortable environment in which to enjoy this huge dramatic work of art.
Noteworthy features on the Common include a lighted statue of the Ten Commandments constructed of weathered stone tablets, and a ‘Tree of Life’ metal sculpture by artist James Oleson with ‘living water’ flowing from its trunk. At the far end of the Common a picturesque pavilion provides a venue for outdoor weddings, church services, concerts, festivals, block parties and more, available to churches, organizations, and the general public upon request.
Engraved pavers are available to the public to honor/memorialize a loved one or to celebrate a family tree.
A tribute to the First Presbyterian Church of Brooksville: This memorial has been inscribed with artist Lewis Watkins’ sketch of the historic church and the caption, ‘Site of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooksville – 1914’.
Contrasting In Memory of large pavers create the Cross of Christ running the entire length of the Common surface. It has become a local, distinct landmark easily seen by air travelers passing over Brooksville.
When asked about the importance of not only the aesthetic qualities this area brings to downtown Brooksville, but the importance of preservation of the site, Joe Mason said, “The Brooksville Common will provide central Brooksville with a place for reflective and peaceful meditation by all comers, both individuals and groups. It also will be a place to have celebratory gatherings for life’s special occasions. We are grateful that we will be able to enhance the ambience of our community with a place of respite that, from a historical perspective, is sacred ground having been the home, for many years, of First Presbyterian Church of Brooksville, one of our City’s foundational centers of worship.”
We hope you will join the First United Methodist congregation in this venture of faith.
In closing, committee member Gene Manuel provided this comment, “May God smile upon this project so that we may complete it for his greater glory!”