History

Our current Main sanctuary

Our current Main sanctuary

“Our mission is to love and serve God, by bringing all people into His family and to love and care for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.” We are people who by faith see ourselves as a family created by the love and grace of Jesus. In every aspect of ministry and life the focus of what we do, is done in the name of Jesus and in thanks to Him. He is the one who calls us brothers and sisters and makes us that through the cross. He is the light in the darkness and the reason for this church’s existence.

Family of Christ Church had its origins when early in 1998 Pastor David Haara was asked if he would like to start a new congregation in Florida. After prayer and visiting the state, New Tampa was identified as the likely place for a future church. Pastor Dave, wife Karen and their two young children moved to Tampa, from Chicago in the summer of 1998. Pastor Dave had been in Chicago for the previous 9 years out of Seminary. A few families interested in a possible church then started meeting in their living room in the fall of 1998. In December of 1998 the group rented a store front and began meeting there, and starting a parents cooperative preschool.

At this time by God’s blessings they acquired the present 31 acre campus at 16190 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. The small group had a Charter Sunday and became a congregation on Sunday, March 4, 1999. Work began and the property was rezoned for a Church, Early Childhood facility, and Elementary and Middle School, Gymnasium and Youth programs, and a Senior care Facility. The first building opened in December of 1999 which housed the Church, Kindergarten, and Early Childhood program. The Church has had children and education and one of their primary missions throughout its existence. Each year the school would add one grade up to their current level of 8th grade.

The second building was added in August of 2001 with an additional 4 classrooms and the central meeting area. Rapid growth in facilities have continued with the opening of the education wing of the church in January of 2004, and the recent completion of the Sanctuary, offices and classrooms in December of 2006.

Family of Christ has worked to make an impact both in the community and throughout the world with activity. The youth of the church have made yearly mission trips, in the church bus, bringing help to people in need every summer from 2003-2007. They have rebuilt houses in Tennessee, restored a residential housing facility in Georgia that serves children with special emotional and educational needs.

In 2006 they spent a week roofing in the heat of July in the Gulf coast of Mississippi for victims of Katrina. In fact the church was the first group in the nation to bring in food and supplies to Biloxi during the week of Katrina. Immediately after the hurricane the church started gathering supplies and filled the church bus, a pick-up and a trailer filled with food and supplies and brought them to the Salvation Army facility in Biloxi. Five individuals from the church drove throughout the night and brought in the supplies to a facility that lacked the basic necessities needed after the storm. With limited gas available and long lines at the few open stations they were sent to the front of the lines as this group from the church, were the only ones bringing supplies into the damaged areas.

Additionally the church has worked on a Habitat House in East Tampa and will be starting another house in Tampa in January of 2009. Every Christmas our congregation heads the Angel Tree Ministry, providing gifts as well as the Word of God and the Grace of Jesus to the children whose parents are incarcerated. We also partner with Metropolitan Ministries in feeding the homeless every Wednesday, and haven’t missed a Wednesday in over three years.

Please come and visit one of our worship services or tour our Kindergarten – Eighth Grade Elementary School or Early Childhood Program.

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