Culverhouse donates $500,000 to Church of Redeemer in Sarasota

Gift the largest non-capital campaign donation in parish’s 139-year history

Hugh Culverhouse Jr. Contributed photo

Sarasota County developer and attorney Hugh Culverhouse Jr. has donated $500,000 to the Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota — the largest non-capital campaign gift in the parish’s history, the church has announced.

The Rev. Charleston Wilson, rector of the Church of the Redeemer, expressed gratitude for Culverhouse’s contribution, saying in a news release, “Hugh takes annual giving to a whole new level, and his generous donation will provide vital resources at a critical time when our parish and community are experiencing growth.”

Wilson added, “Thanks to Hugh’s philanthropy, Redeemer will be able to expand every facet of ministry and outreach, from equipping local classrooms to facilitating youth mission trips, creating a ripple effect that uplifts our entire community.”

“Culverhouse’s donation is poised to serve as a challenge match, inspiring others to join in the spirit of giving,” the release notes. “The impact is already evident, with thousands raised in just a few short days [of his contribution],” the release points out. “The groundswell of support aligns with the church’s 139-year history of community engagement, solidifying its role as a cornerstone of Sarasota,” the release adds.

“[D]eeply rooted in Sarasota’s history,” the Church of the Redeemer traces its origins to 1885, with Col. J. Hamilton Gillespie, one of its founders, also serving as the city’s inaugural mayor, the release points out. “Since settling at its present downtown location in 1934, the church has grown to nearly 3,000 members, making it the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida and among the largest in the country.”

As CEO of Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd in Sarasota, the release continues, Culverhouse “has been at the helm of the 15,000-acre, master-planned community for nearly three decades.” In years past, the release adds, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney, “handling complex cases for the Southern District of Florida, and as a trial attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission in its division of enforcement.”