As it happened, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church had a
perfectly good church that needed a home. In 1959, St.
Andrew’s had unveiled its new building on the shore of the
Indian River and no longer needing the original Carpenter
Gothic church, donated it, fully furnished with pews, pulpit,
bishop’s chair, baptismal font, lectern and altar, everything
but the stained glass windows. They were replaced
with opaque glass, the kind folks used for privacy.
UP THE RIVER
Now the trick was getting the church from Fort Pierce to
The little 150-seat chapel already had a reputation for
travel. Originally built on North Second Street, it was
later moved to South Indian River Drive, within walking
distance from the city pier. The proposed new church site
was also steps away from the Indian River. Barge operator
Claire Coffee happened to be Episcopalian and happy to
help. The stage was set for St. Andrew’s to transform into
Holy Apostles after baptism on the river.
On July 14, 1959, after being jacked up and moved onto a
barge, the little white church was off on a 60-mile adventure
north. Along the banks of the lagoon were St. Andrew’s
parishioners bidding farewell to the church where they had
been christened and married.
Who was the experienced captain tasked with navigating
a 35-foot-tall church on a 35-foot-wide barge under six
bridges and up the Intracoastal Waterway? Seventeen-yearold
Harvey Rodovick was the man in charge, aided by his
pregnant 16-year-old wife.
What the Rodovicks lacked in age, they more than made
up in talent, because the church sailed through the 24-hour
journey without any issues to a canal 500 yards from the
building site. With the help of burly workers, a bulldozer,
The Rev. Todd Schmidtetter leads the congregation at Holy Apostles Epis-
>> copal Church in Satellite Beach.
Parishioners bid Fort Pierce’s
St. Andrew’s Episcopal
Chapel a safe trip in July
1959 as it gets underway.