Above Photo: Pastor Joon Tavarez with his wife Elizabeth and their children from left to right Isabella, Lucas and Bethanie.

Joon Tavarez, a Tampa native, was raised in the church, but he revealed, “I wasn’t into church—it was more about what my family believed and me being a part of a social club.”

Today, Pastor Tavarez shepherds a church that gathers at Brandon High School—quite the paradox some would say. With his ‘dream team’ of 35, he launched Driven Church on January 24, 2016. The church seeks to reach people far from God and lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
So how did an unenthusiastic churchgoer emerge as a church-planting pastor? After years of tiptoeing around God, Tavarez finally encountered the true and living God.

Pastor Tavarez explained, “God made Himself real to me, and the church wasn’t a social club to be apart of, but instead, it became an invitation into a relationship with Him. From then on, I decided to follow Jesus.”

Finding his purpose in Jesus, Pastor Tavarez desired to make a difference through the hope of the world—the local church. In his third year at the University of Southern Florida, he changed his college path from psychology to theology and then attended seminary. After graduating from Asbury Theological Seminary, the young preacher felt God calling him to plant a church.

Driven is a diverse, non-denominational church that centers on knowing God and finding your purpose in Him rather than practicing religion and adhering to rituals. Its casual atmosphere coupled with an emphasis on relationships radiates acceptance and a sense of belonging. Sunday services are held at 10 a.m. with a separate children’s program for infants through fifth grade.

In accord with the high value placed on fellowship, small Bible groups meet throughout the week in local homes. Driven Church also pours into the community with teacher appreciation breakfasts and adoption entrustment ceremonies.

Along with making disciples, Pastor Tavarez and his wife Elizabeth, a graduate of Durant High School, are raising three children all under the age of four. For more information, visit www.driven.church or its Facebook page Driven Church.

For questions, call 586-0571 or email info@driven.church. Brandon High School is located at 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon.

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Amanda Boston
Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.