phpJPHdEYThe First National Bible Bee that is being held this November in Washington, D.C.  Local Bees will be held across America on September 12.  Registration for these local Bible Bees is April 30. A Bible Bee is a refreshing and stimulating Bible memory competition for individual students from the ages of 7- 18.
We have a local bee right here in our area. There will be an informational meeting held on April 28 at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon from 6:45 -8:30 p.m.
“The purpose of the bee is really to open up the Bible in people’s homes, and to get kids/families memorizing the Word of God,” said local Bible bee chairperson Doreen Reysen.
Registration Deadline is April 30. Once registration is over, through the summer the children memorizing, getting together preparing for the bee.
The bee is currently looking for businesses / partners to help sponsor the event. This is not any one church-sponsored event.  It is open to the entire community.
Over 3,000 people nationwide have already signed up. All 50 states will be hosting local bees on September 12.
For more information, contact local bee chairperson Reysen at 689-3964 or Spaces are limited, so sign up now. The top 300 winners will advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C. on November 5 and 6.
For more information on the Bible Bee, visit

Church to Open in Valrico
The grand opening of Centerpoint Church, located at 1801 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico, will take place on Easter Sunday, April 12 at 10:45 a.m.
Centerpoint Church (formerly Bethel Baptist Church) is launching as an alternative to church as usual. Centerpoint is a casual environment featuring today’s music, relevant teaching that addresses needs that are relevant to our present culture and creative media.
In conjunction with the grand opening, Pastor Bryant Golden was named the co-teaching Pastor of Centerpoint. Pastor Bryant and Senior Pastor Dale Golden rotate the teaching series every few weeks at Centerpoint to present the truth of the Bible with fresh and creative perspective.
“Our commitment at Centerpoint is to reach out to those who are far from God or have been turned off by the church. We are creating a church at Centerpoint that welcomes people at any point on their journey no matter where they have been or what they believe,” says Bryant.
For more information, e-mail or call the church at 689-1906.

Sunset Bay Introduces Children’s Director
Sunset Bay Chapel is proud to introduce the community to its new Children’s Director, Myssey Headrick.
Headrick was born in Mississippi and she and her husband, Kyle, have 6 children, Bo (15), Spencer (12), Shelby (11), Bailey (10), Kyra (7), and Landen (6).
She has served in Children’s Ministry since 1998, beginning as Praise and Worship leader for children and also served as a childrens’ church teacher during that time.
Her primary goal is to serve families in the FishHawk area. She has a great passion and vision for this community. She has already begun to plan community events that will not only be relevant but impact families in a very positive way. There will be an event planned each month for your family. Some of the events already planned are: a community cookout/Easter Egg Hunt, water events, high-energy multi-day events and a back to school party.

Youth Partner with Businesses for Nonprofit
Breakthrough Student Ministries at St. Andrew’s recently partnered with Beef ‘O’Brady’s on Kings and Cherry’s on Bloomingdale, both of which gave 10 percent of their bills to Steppin’ Stone Farm. These two restaurants, many local businesses and organizations, and are working together to raise funds and awareness for Steppin’ Stone Farms, a Christian based residential group home for teenage girls located in Lithia. It emphasizes that through accountability and personal responsibility, each girl has a chance to change her destiny.
For more information, visit or call 689-6849, ext. 217.

Free Language Classes Offered
Brandon New Hope Church, located at 1607 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon, is offering free language classes to those interested in learning Spanish or English as a second language. The Spanish class will begin in March and is being taught by Pastor Herman Sanchez, a native of Puerto Rico who has a degree in education and has taught in several Florida schools. The English as a second language class is being taught by Leeann Short, the pastor’s wife, and is offered on Tuesday evenings. The church has upgraded its. Simply go to the Website (; click on the “Sermons” page and then click on one of the messages.
Call 685-6560 for more information and to register.

Church Opens Food Pantry to Community
New Berean Baptist Church, located at 740 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon, welcomes residents to its food pantry and clothes closet on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. All those in need can get one bag of food and clothing.
For more information, call 643-7600 or visit

Church Posts Job Opportunities
In an effort to assist churches in reaching as many qualified possible employees as possible, St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico, has created a link on its Website that allows employers to post open positions. The link does average more than a 100 hits per month from its parishioners. The church encourages other parishes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and their parishioners who own companies or are managers seeking employers to post open positions on the site.
To post a position, go to and click on the “Job Board” link at the bottom of the page. Each job posting will be reviewed and posted within 24 hours of the request. For more information, call 789-4900, ext 306 or e-mail

St. Stephen Hosts Fish Fry
Join St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico, in Lent for its fish fry and Stations of the Cross. Dinner will be served in the Multi-Purpose Room from 5-7:30 p.m. on April 3. There will be the option of dine-in, carry-out and drive-thru service. Dinners offered are: shrimp-$8, fish-$7, combo-$7.50 or pizza-$5. This is a great community event and all profits go toward the new church. After dinner, the parish will pray the Stations of the Cross in the church or outside.
For information, contact 689-4900.

Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale Hosts Passover Seder
Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, located at 710 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon is hosting a Passover Seder meal and service on Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to come take part in the ancient tradition of this Passover meal. For more information, contact the church secretary or the Reverend John Wintringham at 654-3699.

St Mark Easter Events
On Palm Sunday, April 4 at 10 a.m. the celebration will begin outside. Then we will process inside as a reminder of Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem. Worship will also include a Readers Theater of the events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Members will also welcome the Rev. Jean Simpson as a guest speaker. Jean is the Regional Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ.
On Maundy Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. the commemoration of the Last Supper will include music, a symbolic form of “foot washing”, Communion and Tenebrae Service.
On Good Friday, April 10, at  7 p.m. there will be a meditative service of silence, readings, and the extinguishing of light. It will pay homage to Jesus’ crucifixion.
For more information, visit

Calvary Lutheran Church Lenten and Holy Week Services
Calvary invites everyone to join us during the Lent season –the 40 days between Ash Wednesday on February 25 and Easter Sunday on April 12 –as it readies to remember Jesus’ suffering for us.
Sunday, April 5 Palm Sunday services at 8, 9:40 and 11:15 a.m.
Thursday, April 9 Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m., with foot washing and
Friday, April 10 Good Friday services at 12 Noon and 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 12 Easter services at 6, 8, 9:40, and 11:15 a.m.
Please join the church as it prepares for Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation. Calvary Lutheran Church is located at 5309 U.S. Hwy. 41 N. in Apollo Beach. For more information, call 645-1305.

Easter of Hope, Riverview’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt
Riverview’s largest Easter egg hunt will be held on Saturday, April 4 at 11 a.m. at 7211 S. 78th St. in Riverview. Every child will receive a prize and food and refreshments will be served. All children must be accompanied by an adult or parent.  For more information, call 677-5220 or visit

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Marie Gilmore
Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!