By Libby Hopkins

It has been said that baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith. Recently, 50 members of FishHawk Fellowship Church in Lithia expressed their love for Christ by taking part in their annual beach baptism service.

There were an unprecedented number of baptisms in a single day in the 11-year history of the church. It’s the second year that the church has held this type of service and it took place at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. It was a day of celebration for all who attended.

Pastor Tony Parker is the children and families pastor at the church and he preformed the baptism service.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for those members of our church who had never been baptized to feel comfortable,” Parker said. “The opportunity to be out in God’s creation and to be obedient to his word is life changing.”

This year’s baptism service was extra special because once all of the members who had signed up to be baptized were finished, a young man came forward and told Parker that he had listened to the explanation of salvation and he prayed to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

“He wanted to join in and be baptized with us,” Parker said. “This was a life changing event for him.”

Pam Block is the administrative assistant for Assimilation and Memberships at the church. She helped coordinate the service and she was thrilled to see the new members baptized.

“Our mission statement is ‘Building bridges that connect people to a passionate life in Christ’ and over and over I have seen this genuinely lived out in the lives of our church members and consistently modeled by our pastors,” Block said.

The staff and members of the church feel that God has blessed them with the continuous influx of wonderful people and families.

In the past few years, the church has added four additional pastors and additional support staff to provide ministry. In 2009, the church expanded from two Sunday morning worship services and a Bible study hour to three services with life groups being held on and off-campus.

In March, the church added a fourth identical Sunday worship service meeting at 5 p.m. For more information on the church, visit or call 655-7431. FishHawk Fellowship Church is located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia.


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.