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A closer look: One Hillsborough church

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 16, 2002

Brandon Worship Center

LOCATION: 1761 State Road 60 E, Valrico, (813) 654-0588

SERVICES AND PROGRAMS: Sunday morning worship service begins at 10:30. Sunday evening service is at 6:30 p.m. Youth groups for children in sixth grade and older meet during the evening service. See and Know, a service for young children, is held during both Sunday services. A midweek prayer meeting is held at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Children's church and nursery are held during every service. The church is also involved with a nursing home ministry.

LEADERSHIP: Jackie McDonald, pastor, took the helm after her husband of more than 26 years, the Rev. William "Bill" McDonald, died Jan. 13 of this year. The McDonalds founded Brandon Worship Center in 1989. Longtime members of the Family Worship Center in Lakeland, they were inspired to start a church in Brandon in 1987 and began meeting in a private home for two years before opening the church. Bill moved to Lakeland in 1960 after completing four years in the Navy. He attended Southeastern Bible College in Lakeland for two years and the River Bible Institute in Tampa for one year. Jackie received her one-year degree from the River Bible Institute as well.

HISTORY: Brandon Worship Center was formed in 1989 by members of the Family Worship Center in Lakeland. The Lakeland church, which is associated with Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Okla., near Tulsa, has spawned other worship centers in Wauchula, Lake Wales and Winter Haven. The Brandon center purchased land and hopes to break ground on a new building sometime this year. A completion date has not been determined.

RECENT SERMON TOPIC OR THEME: Jackie McDonald has been talking about faith and its many different levels.

MEMBERSHIP: Average attendance is 75 to 100 each Sunday.

NOTABLE: McDonald will be leaving for Norway, where she will minister for the fourth time at a school affiliated with the River Bible Institute. She will also attend a conference. This will be her first time attending the conference without her husband. In her absence, Larry Pearre will lead services.

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