By Amanda Boston

Nestled among the trees, directly across from Riverview High School is where you will find the vibrant and flourishing congregation of Journey Church Tampa. Senior Parish Pastor Michael Kyker accredits the life of the community as the driving force behind their recent expansion and demand to plant new churches. On Friday, October 28, Pastor Kyker held a dedication ceremony for its newly built sanctuary that now has the capacity to handle its growing audience. Unlike other church building projects, this structure was built brick by brick over a period of seven years, in several different stages, and solely with funds raised by its congregants.

Perhaps, there is a parallel between Pastor Kyker and Old Testament leader, Nehemiah. With the members of the Jewish community, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall surrounding the ancient city of Jerusalem and Holy Temple. Comparable to the Jews using mud and a trowel, the church members volunteered their skills and services to the construction project. With great enthusiasm Pastor Kyker said, “Ninety-five percent of the congregation showed up at one time or another to help.”

With humble beginnings, Journey Church Tampa formed in 2005 with its residency in Pastor Kyker’s HOA clubhouse and the YMCA Camp Cristina. Then in 2006, it acquired some former NASA modular buildings from another church on land across from Riverview High School. The budding church began to require more space, but Pastor Kyker was determined to construct a church without going into debt. So over the years, its members raised money and built it in stages.

The first set of funds paid for the architectural plans and zoning. The second set of funds completed the underground work like plumbing and electric, the foundation slab, and the metal building shell. However, a few years passed before the congregation collected enough capital to complete the rest of the structure. “When you build something from the ground up without conventional financing and pay for it as you raise the money and see it complete, it is exciting,” said Pastor Kyker.

Journey Church Tampa is a non-denominational church located on 10022 Cristina Dr. in Riverview. Visit www.jctriverview.com.