Historic church bell in Mount Dora now restored, ringing

132-year-old bell atop 'small church with a big heart' rings again

By Ezzy Castro - Reporter

MOUNT DORA, Fla. - The bell at the Congregational Church in Mount Dora is ringing once again after renovations on the community landmark were recently completed.

The people of Mount Dora were excited Tuesday to hear the 132-year-old bell chime once again.

"Its special and exciting for the community," resident Cheryl Max said. "The whole community came together. It showed them what they can do and they made this possible."

Leslie Keast said she set an alarm for the big day and was excited to ring the church bell for the first time.

"It was awesome, but I was hoping to get pulled up in the air like the hunchback," Keast said, referencing the famed character from the 'Hunchback of Notre Dame.'

Rev. Gary Marshall decided to raise the money needed to pay for the repairs to the bell, which has been around for 132 years.

It was the effort from neighbors and churchgoers that enabled him to pull it off. 

"Our aim was to make this a community icon and make it a community effort and it did come together we nickeled and dimed our way right up to the top." Marshall said. 

The church was able to secure a $20,000 grant through the Mount Dora Community Trust.

"The community sees this church as one of the corner stones of the community," said Rob English. 
 
Marshall said the bell is a piece of history that belongs to "a small church with a big heart" and hopes the sound from above will continue to ring for years to come.

The bell will be used for the calling of the service on Sundays.

Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.