By Bonnie Mentel

Twenty-five teenagers from St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church recently loaded up in their church bus for an out of state mission trip.

“We left here and went to Passion Church  in Atlanta, Georgia,” said Jon Michael Richardson, youth minister at Saint Andrew’s United Methodist Church. They also made other stops in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

The group worked with Radius Camps to plan their time of service. The Radius Group is a non-profit and non-denominational organization that travels to cities throughout the United States to lead summer mission projects out of those various cities.

Of the many services needed, the teens painted the exterior of a home, repaired interior sheetrock and learned tile work. In addition, they built a porch and two sets of stairs. They gained experience in home repair and painting.

“The students learned some valuable painting and construction skills. Some had never used a hammer before. Most importantly they learned the value of Christian service. They served strangers in need with joy. The students and leaders were incredible and they served in the heat and humidity without complaint. They truly lived out our summer motto of ‘Have Fun. Work Hard. Serve Others. Be Grateful,’” Richardson said.

Now that they’re back, the students at St. Andrew’s will continue serve the Brandon community.

“We work with Echo (Emergency Care Help Organization,)  an organization that serves homeless families in the Brandon/Hillsborough County area. We also volunteer at Dover Elementary School. We provide tutoring, landscaping and whatever else they need,” said Richardson.

The summer of 2015 will provide the opportunity for two more out-of-area mission trips. For more information about the student ministry at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, visit

They meet on Sunday nights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center . In addition, a Bible study takes place on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for middle and high school students.

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