By Andria Barrios

LighthouselogoNearly 62 years ago, a small outreach began in Tampa. Today, Lighthouse Gospel Mission, a church in Riverview, plans to provide two million pounds of food to those in need across the community this holiday season.

Two upcoming events include both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners hosted by Lighthouse. On Friday, November 21 at 7 p.m. a Thanksgiving service, entitled Thanksgiving of Hope, will be provided as well as a hot turkey meal and food basket for each family. Christmas of Hope will take place on Friday, December 19 at 7 p.m. A Christmas musical will be held before the dinner, and children ages 2 to 10 years will receive a toy, while a basket will also be given to each family. Registration for both events begins at 6 p.m.

Lighthouse distributes food through its own outreaches beginning at 12 Noon every third Thursday of the month, except November and December, as well as the last Saturday of every month, except December.

“The public is welcome to donate any time. Some of the biggest items needed include canned goods and toys for children ages 2 to 10,” Anthony Samuels, main leader of the Lighthouse Gospel Mission, said. “Children’s bikes are also needed for our upcoming Easter outreach.”

This generous organization distributes food to over 30 ministries across Tampa Bay, including Feed the Bay. Lighthouse Gospel Missions is run on a strictly volunteer, non-profit basis.

“While I am one of the main leaders, Pastor Hank Furr actually had the vision for these outreaches,” Samuels said.

“All are welcome to come and enjoy,” said Samuels.

The desire of Lighthouse is for each needy family to be blessed. Last year nearly 1.5 million pounds of food was given, while this year Lighthouse expects to reach two million.

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries is located at 7211 S. 78th St. in Tampa. For more information, visit or contact


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