Love First Christian Center, located at 12847 Balm Riverview Rd. in Riverview, has broken ground on its new building that will double the capacity and includes a gymnasium that can host sporting events and youth programs.

The planning for the new church building at Love First Christian Center has been an ongoing passion for Lead Pastor Jomo Cousins. The groundbreaking ceremony was the first step in the church’s plan to expand to meet the growing needs of its congregation and the community.

The new construction is the culmination of a fundraising effort that was faithful in spite of the pandemic during 2020. Faithful efforts combined with many years of planning, preparation and working to build support for the church expansion are finally coming to fruition.

“The construction plan is 10-14 months,” said Cousins. “We are [adding] around 60,000 sq. ft. and it will be 3 stories tall.”

The new building, which is designed to connect to the existing building, is expected to cost $7 million. This should allow attendance to double with a sanctuary that can seat 1,500 people.

“We have been in fundraising mode for the last few years,” said Cousins. “We plan to have a strong year this year as people begin to see the evidence of their giving.”

Love First Christian Center, located in Riverview, has grown rapidly in the past several years, leading to capacity issues that needed to be addressed.

“We have been short on room for our children’s ministry and teen ministry. We have a growing and thriving teen ministry and STEM program that needs room to flourish,” said Cousins.

Cousins also explained that before the pandemic stopped in-person worship, the church had many Sundays where it had to turn people away because of its lack of room.

“Our new facility will have a full gymnasium, our lobby will be tripled, our sanctuary will be doubled,” said Cousins. “We will also be able to increase our life classes. Our new gymnasium will be able to host sports events and youth programs.”

Love First Christian Center is also resuming in-person services through RSVP. To learn more, RSVP for attendance or view online services, visit www.lfcc.tv. The church is located at 12847 Balm Riverview Rd. in Riverview.

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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.