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Got a story to tell, please e-mail Reverend Jeff and share it !!!


Here's a link to the Hope Place project, something that Westminster by the Sea

proudly help start with a "seed" donation ... click to read how the Hope Project is changing lives in our community!!




On Thursday May 4th, Bob Starrett texted me.
“Please pray for our son Wesley. We’re in the ER with him. 
Lots of stomach pain.”

I texted a prayer back to Bob and said “Pray this for me with him.” 
Then I offered a prayer that he might receive relief. They did 
I as I suggested.

Later I received this text from Bob:
“We really appreciate your prayer! Judy and I read your
prayer over Wes while he was in the ER bed in a lot of pain.
Within 5 minutes after the prayer, he passed the kidney stone,
and was without pain. What power God has! We believe your
prayer, and our beliefs, did this. Thank you so much!
The doctor seemed shocked that this happened.”

Thank you, O God, for hearing and responding to that prayer.


Jeff…before any more time passes….Easter sunday’s church service !!:was perfect in all aspects. Sermon was terrific. music wonderful and overall feeling in church was perfect!!!!HE HAS RISEN INDEED….THANK  YOU!  


HI Rev. Sumner, wanted to leave you a warm happy message about the services done by the church since maundy thursday. The maundy service was something i have never seen or experienced with awe and humility. It does convey the death of Jesus and its true meaning. The sermons on Friday were inspirational of the day on the cross. Today’s Easter Service was remarkable. The way the cloths were turned into white, the lights turned into sunshine and the music hailed The Lord. I appreciate the opportunity to worship in your church and think i have found a home. Wanted to thank everyone involved in the church for their work and devotion. Thank you.


Thank you, a big thank you for the “podcast function” that is now available for Minister Jeff’s sermons. I listen to podcasts on my one hour drive to and from work each day. I live 50 minutes away from church now. I miss Jeff’s sermons and church. I travel on weekends and for the few times each year I make it back to WBTS, I am made to feel welcome. It is my place of peace and I recharge spiritually when I walk into the sanctuary. Now I can imagine Jeff at the podium while I hear him speak! I am grateful for this feature on the website. I have been reading his sermons for a few years. I enjoy the podcast feature very much!

Thanks again. Be Well and Blessed,


I want to thank you, Mary Ann, Cara, Kendra, Dr. Christeson, the choir, and the Session for the
truly inspiring, nurturing, and encouraging ways in which all of you provide leadership for
Westminster By-The-Sea Presbyterian Church. It has been a wonderful experience for both
Alice and me to share as 'Snowbirds' in the Westminster faith community. I also want to thank
you for the opportunity to share in the Wednesday morning Bible study that you lead.

We look forward to next year!
Ross and Alice Jackson
(Ross is a retired Presbyterian minister. He and his wife live in Salem, Ohio)


Our Church Changes Lives … For the Better!

Several weeks ago I attended a meeting informing us about a trip to Israel/Palestine a person in our presbytery had.  I was very interested in hearing what she had learned and experienced on their trip.  I was amazed when I heard the biased presentation. It was very difficult to believe we had been in the same place in July! The entire Westminster By-The-Sea group had such a positive experience as we visited Israel and Palestine.  Our tour guide, Mike, was such a wonderful Christian person and presented all sides of the ongoing conflict while showing us and teaching us about his home, the Holy Land, always making us feel as if it was also our home.

Starting with some trepidation due to the political unrest, I want to report that as landed at Ben Gurion airport my daughter Karen and I traveled in peace and joy! We felt it was an opportunity of a lifetime to walk where our Savior walked and see so many places in the Bible with our fearless Shepherd and Bus Captain, Dr. Sumner. We were blessed to have the Holy Land brought to life and we felt much protected by the E O tour Group who looked out for our safety daily. If you ever have the opportunity to make this Pilgrimage, please take advantage of it, It will change your life forever.  You will never be sorry.

As a final note, Karen and I thank our Dear fellow Travelers so much for being kind, loving and helpful every day, and not complaining [out loud] about us slowing all of you down as we were always the caboose.  Mostly, thanks for not throwing us under the bus!!   

Blessings to you,

Helen Chandler


Mary Ann:  Thanks to you and Jeff for keeping in touch with us in Maryland. Your cards on special occasions are very thoughtful and keeps us in the family while 800 miles away. Also congratulations to you and Jeff for 30 years of spectacular service.  We enjoyed reading the Spire about how it all began and hope to read more.  The growth of the Church is a tribute to Jeff''s and your strong and capable support.

Hope to see you in October.  Don and Susie



Your children's message this past Sunday was manifested today.  Our young neighbor asked me if I knew where she might buy an aloe plant to use to ease he discomfort from radiation treatments.

Being a poor excuse for a horticulturist I could only think one or two garden centers. I asked Bea to join us and she told our neighbor that we have an aloe plant in our back yard and to help herself to all the that she needs.  Bea cut a spear for her and I thought of this past Sunday.  Sometimes we just don’t know when God’s work will be done.




On any given day I would probably have a different answer to the question “How has Westminster changed my life for the better?”  Today as I look back on who Naomi was when I joined this church in April of 2007, and the person I am today, I know that it is an ongoing process of change. As most Christians I thought I was a good Christian, a good person, who having a relationship with Jesus had most of the answers.  I believed and thought that this is all that I needed.  What happened next was I took Disciple I and found out that I didn’t know the true meaning of the Bible and/or God’s word.

From there, as they say, the rest is history. I was blessed with our wonderful church women who guided me through becoming the moderator of P.W. “Who am I Lord.” now is knowing God has a plan for me and the courage to open my eyes and heart and say yes! With God by my side I can do this. I went from being a person who sits in the pews to understanding the joy of being a Disciple. Today I am able to sing in our choir and my heart is filled with the love of the Music Ministry to honor God and to give him the Glory though song. God fills me in my time of need when I miss my beloved husband, Tom. To say that I’ve been changed is an understatement.  I can’t wait to see how God uses me in the future. I thank the love of everyone at Westminster-By-The- Sea in my ever changing spiritual life growth. God Bless you all.  

Naomi Riddle


No other church like Westminster by the Sea. I have been away almost 14 years now and still miss my home church. Congratulations on 60 years!

Kelly Jeter Redmond 


Ryan and Stephanie Mosbauer met Rev. Sumner as they planned for their wedding that was held in our sanctuary on May 12, 2007. In time Ryan And Stephanie had a daughter, Mya, and found their way back to the church. Ryan and Mya were baptized and they joined the church. It was a happy day, and Mya became known in the early service children's sermons and in the nursery.
When Mya became sick recently, we prayed for her and stayed in touch with the family. Rev. Sumner took the church flowers to their house when she came home to recover. She is now well (thanks be to God!) and we received this note from Ryan And Stephanie:

"Pastor Jeff,
Thank you so much from bringing Mya flowers. They were beautiful. We really appreciate all the prayers for her. She has fully recovered and she is very excited about getting back to church!
With love,
Stephanie, Ryan, and Mya"

Twenty four years ago when we purchased our house in Daytona Beach we started looking for a church to be our church away from home.  The first one we visited was WBTS.  We liked it so much we joined as Affiliate Members.  When you enter the church you can feel the presence of God and the sermons are inspiring.  The people are friendly and caring.  WBTS has memories for me as my grandson, Wesley, got married in the church and our great granddaughter was christened there.  When my husband had a stroke one Sunday after  church Jeff was at the hospital praying for him.  We called it a miracle because he came out of it!  Later on August 2013 he had another stroke and passed away. Jeff came to Georgia and was with our family and had the service.  Jeff and Mary Ann are the best.  They are always there when you need them. Cara and Richard are wonderful. Thank you for letting us be a part of  WBTS.  We have been blessed.

Annette Starrett

Looking for a Church Home

Two years ago we became Floridians and needed to find a church we could call home. We needed a Pastor who was a man of God, a teacher, and a good sermon deliverer. We needed a church where the Pastor loved his congregation and his congregation loved him back. It would be nice to have an attractive church facility. A friendly church where one could volunteer in various activities. A church we could be proud of as it is relevant. We found all of these requirements at Westminster By-The-Sea Presbyteiran!

                                                John & Marcia Carlson

Dear Dr. Sumner,

It was good to meet you after the Christmas Eve candlelight service!  We certainly understand that there was no time to talk due to the sudden heavy rainstorm and the rush of people leaving.

We want you to know that we found the service to be very meaningful and inspirational.  We consider it to be the high point of our week in Daytona Beach, and we look forward to continuing the tradition!  It was wonderful to celebrate the birth of our Lord with such a vibrant congregation.  The solos were very beautiful, and I found the choir’s attention to expressive phrasing to be exceptional.  Also, it was thrilling to hear the pipe organ in all its glory during the carol singing!  As a musician, I always like to see the pastor singing with the choir; it’s a sign of how much the music program is appreciated! (It’s also a sign of how much the pastor loves music!)

Best wishes to you and your family for a very blessed New Year!

Fred and Sharon Stroup, Birmingham, Alabama


Today one bouquet of flowers has been given by Dave Rothwell in honor of his loving mother and his new Christian family at Westminster. I have watched Dave change for the better over the last three years. He came to us uncertain in faith and with personal issues that troubled him. Over the years, he has become an usher, has worked around the church, and will help anyone he sees in need. Last year he joined my DISCIPLE I class, one that takes much reading and homework. Neither was easy for him but he stayed with it! He is now with us in DISCIPLE II. One thing our class knew was that Dave was a pack a day smoker. Five weeks ago he said to our class; “I am not going to smoke anymore.” He did not say, “I will try to stop smoking,” he said ‘I will not smoke.” And he hasn’t! We are proud of him! Last Sunday he loaded a bag with CDs, and a CD player and, put on his headphones, and proceeded to walk the five mile CROP walk to earn almost $300 for hungry people! Way to go, Dave! God isn’t finished with you yet!

(Jeff Sumner)


Being a shepherd has been amazing. This year I have had a grandmother tell me how happy her grandson is when he leaves Sunday School and he talks about what he did in class. The grandmother has also said she appreciates how much I have welcomed him into the Sunday school class.

On a personal note, I want to thank Cara for all she has done with Stacy. I don’t think Stacy would have gotten through a lot of things without talking to Cara and having friends at this church. Stacy has grown up here and has made me so proud to become a shepherd, help with VBS and going on missions trips. I am more involved in the church also!

(Janet Neeka)


Why I'm returning to WBTS
What a joy to be returning to Westminster-By-The-Sea Presbyterian Church! My name is Don Kruger, and I am singer, pianist, music teacher, and also an experienced church choir director. This means that, over the past 8 years, when the Lord called me to other churches as music director, I sadly had to leave Westminster as a singer in the Choir. My last church job started off so well: a very dedicated choir with good, enthusiastic singers; a pastor with whom I felt a partnership in the Gospel; and a chance to write new music for the choir and congregation to sing. But as change is inevitable, the pastor retired and the new pastor came in wanting a more contemporary sound in our music. I felt a lot of pressure from many sides to create a "worship band" and to incorporate music that is heard on some Christian radio stations... Which brings me to why I am returning to Westminster. Above all, there is sincerity and depth to the preaching of God's word here. Discipleship is stressed as the goal for each worshiper, and the congregation is both warm and charitable. Also, there is a well thought-out position on the role music has in Christian ministry, with a strong commitment to the music of the organ, piano, and other acoustic instruments. Paramount is the singing of excellent hymns that stand the test of time, whose words and music truly feed the soul. It is great joy for me in coming back to Westminster to work with extraordinarily gifted music leaders, to sing in a choir that is second to none in this area, and to use hymnals again!

Don Kruger  


Dear Jeff,
Mother wanted you to know how much she enjoyed the funny birthday card from you and Mary Ann. It was very cute. It looks like you and your family are thriving.

Mother had a good 103rd birthday celebration with flowers and phone calls from family and lots of fuss from Dawn in whose home she lives.

Mother continues to do well except for her failing vision which I am trying to fix.

Blessings to you and Mary Anne.

Barbara & Linton
Ada Julius’ family


This is my church away from church when I travel to Daytona, which is often. I love it! Just the right size, moving worship, awesome preaching straight from The Word, stimulating education and VBS, extensive outreach to many; plus friendly, loving, God-fearing, Jesus loving friends. What more can you ask for in a church?!

Karen Chandler Armistead Lives in Longwood; she is an Affiliate Member; her full membership is in" Northland: A Church Distributed."


Dear Reverend Jeff,

            Your enhanced vision machine is very much appreciated. It is used every day and several times a day. I can put a letter in and read the return address label to see whose mail I will have to have someone else read to me. And of course, I can read the small print little bits at a time of the newspaper, but I’ve never quit taking the newspaper.

            Thank you and the church for this wonderful service of letting me use this machine.

                                    Cordially yours,

                                                Wayne Christeson

I just wanted to send my expressions of love and gratitude to Jeff, Cara, and our congregation for all the prayers and good wishes that were sent my way during my seven week hospitalization in Texas. Prayer is powerful and I felt its power, particularly when wrapped in my beautiful prayer shawl! Thanks to Helen Chandler and the prayer shawl team too. I continue to seek prayers for my upcoming surgery on December 19th. In Christian Love, Barbara Wagner


Westminster Changes Lives For the Better

If you ever wonder about the power of faith and prayer on our children, let me share this story.

On June 7th our youngest daughter, Kristen, married her now husband, Tylan. We have raised Kristen and Kaylee at WBTS when at our home in Daytona and back in Cincinnati.

On Kristen’s 13th birthday we presented her with a purity ring in a brief ceremony at church. We encouraged her to live her life in a Christ-like manner following Biblical guidance.

During the marriage ceremony Kristen came down, opened my hand, placed her purity ring in my palm and closing my hand in hers said, “Dad, I have kept my promise to you and God.”

What a blessing to have faith, a church to raise a family in and God’s guidance through His word to lead us and our families.

                                                Matthew Smith

Out of my comfort zone, changing my life! ....
A year or so after joining the church Toni, who was on the Christian Ed committee at the time, asked if I would consider teaching computer classes for the children during Sunday school ....

This scared me to death, as I had never taught a single child anything in my life. I prayed about it and, in the fall of 2005, started teaching children. That year I learned so much about how to work with, teach, and laugh with children, little did I know how important that would be in a short year!

As the summer of 2006 came to a close, Toni and I decided, at the recommendation of Jeff, to meet with a pastor of a sister church that had recently adopted a child through a Christian based adoption agency. Less than FIVE WEEKS after that fateful meeting, Dylan had joined our forever family and we started the journey of adopting this fine young man!

Thanks to the lessons learned while teaching Sunday school, I was prepared (at least as much as I could be!) to be the kind of dad that Dylan needed!

God has truly blessed our family in so many ways through WBTS and continues to do so each and every day !!!

-- Cecil Rice



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This site was last updated 08/22/18