Photo courtesy of Leda Eaton Next Level Church held a Gas For Good event in Lithia on Saturday, June 9. The church gave away almost $5,000 in free gas and collected can goods for Seeds Of Hope, a local food pantry.

Next Level Church pumped nearly $5,000 of free gasoline on Saturday, June 9 as part of a community outreach event. With national average gas prices at their highest levels in three years, most drivers could use some free gas. More than 188 happy motorists visited the 7-Eleven gas station on 16781 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia to have their gas tank filled, free of charge. This service to the community was offered by Next Level Church as a way to “help people receive a blessing as well as be a blessing.”

Walt Robbins, the executive assistant to the lead pastor at Next Level Church, was excited to be part of this event. “The Gas for Good (event) was a huge success as we gave out thousands of dollars worth of free gas to the community,” said Robbins. “The community also stepped up big-time and brought enough canned goods to fill an entire box truck.”

All the food collected went to fill the shelves at Seeds of Hope, a local nonprofit food pantry and is now distributing that food to people and families in need throughout the community. 

“Overall, our hope was that people would use this as a chance to receive and to give,” said Robbins. “At Next Level Church, we believe God sent His church to give, and this is one of the most practical ways we can share God’s generous heart with people.”

Next Level Church had many volunteers to hand out Girl Scout cookies and bottles of water throughout the event. The local police department was also there to help with traffic flow.

Next Level Church began 10 years ago and now meets in 10 locations across North America. At every location, there is a local pastor, live band and amazing kid environments. Next Level Church is designed to be a place where people can feel comfortable and experience the message of the Bible in a casual, inviting atmosphere.

“We want to be a church that is known for what we are for, not for what we are against,” said Robbins. “At New Level Church we are for being loving, relevant and life-giving. We hope that the community felt that.”

Next Level Church meets every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Newsome High School, located at 16550 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia. For more information, 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.