By Derek Maul

It’s only been a few weeks since the Reverend Tim Machtel moved to St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Bloomingdale, but he already feels at home.

“So far we’re enjoying Brandon,” Machtel said. “We’re settling into the routine and feel very comfortable here.”

Machtel, 47, quickly noted the congregation’s desire to serve Bloomingdale-Valrico.

“It’s a multi-generational congregation that really loves this community,” he said. “We’re involved in a lot of mission initiatives. People are really passionate about getting their relationship with Christ to their hands and feet in the community.”

Born in Michigan, Machtel moved to Florida when he was 12 years-old.

“My dad worked for Jacobson Stores,” he said. “He opened a new store in Palm Beach. The whole family was excited about moving.”

As a teen, Machtel went to church reluctantly, but gave his life to Christ when he was 20.

“I felt the call to ministry fairly quickly,” he said. “I attended Asbury College in Kentucky, then Asbury Seminary. I was in the first graduating class from the Orlando campus in 2003.”

Machtel has served churches with as few as eight in attendance (rural Kentucky) to more than 1,700 (Beach United Methodist in Jacksonville Beach). He believes St. Andrew’s, with 700-800 worshippers each Sunday morning, is a good match for his gifts.

“I enjoy preaching,” Machtel said. “That moment of communication, of seeing their eyes light up, and finding the humor that life throws us. Another strength is organizing and building a team.”

St. Andrew’s  pastor said the church staff will be making team decisions. He is a student of cutting edge leadership and organizational wisdom, but makes a clear distinction between the corporate and the religious world.

“There are leadership principles that translate from secular to sacred,” Machtel said, “but they have to fit into the model of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.”

For fun, Machtel spends time with his family (wife, Debbie, and daughters, Abigail, Bekah and Diane), and loves movies. “I also like to play golf,” he said, “I just don’t get to do much of it.”

Machtel’s bottom line is straightforward. “Helping our community of faith and this community to understand what it means to be in a deep abiding relationship with God,” he said. “And to be known for making a difference because of that.”

Find out more about pastor Tim Machtel and the church, visit


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.