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New shepherd leads First Baptist flock

The Rev. Mike Towler speaks of outreach, discipleship and family as he nurtures a ministry at a Wesley Chapel church.

By MICHELLE JONES
Published February 3, 2007


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WESLEY CHAPEL - The words on the marquee at First Baptist Church of New Tampa say it all: New Pastor, Same Great God.

And the Rev. Mike Towler is happy to serve the same great God along with his congregation. The 34-year-old is a man of action, says Madeline Hernandez, the church secretary.

"He is a Bible-believing man, and he preaches it," she says. "He has a heart for God."

The 140-member church welcomed Towler, his wife, Deena, and their 2-year-old son, Christian, in October. The 10-year-old Southern Baptist church in the Meadow Pointe community is in the center of one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation.

Mrs. Towler grew up in Hillsborough, where she attended Greco Middle, Tampa Baptist Academy, Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida.

Towler attended Clearwater Christian College, where he earned a degree in Bible education. He also taught at Tampa Baptist Academy for two years. He then went to seminary and earned a master's degree in theology at the Southern Baptist Seminary at the Knoxville extension.

"Our desire is to reach out to the community," Towler said. "Through discipleship we want to transform people to the image of Christ, to help them grow in their relationship to Christ. We want to be here to glorify our savior."

He says new programs are on the horizon. "Both the children's and youth ministries are growing," he said.

The church has a soccer program for children 3 to 6 years old that is co-ed and is open to the community. "We encourage competition, but we don't keep score," he said. "It is great for the families, and we have a banquet where everyone gets an award."

Family is very special to Towler. "We want to connect with people and build relationships," he said.

Michelle and Ashton Young and their 12-year-old daughter, Emily, are growing spiritually at the church. "We just love him (Towler)," Mrs. Young said. "He preaches the word and has a servant's heart."

If you go

First Baptist Church of New Tampa

Where: 28125 County Line Road.

Services: 8:15 and 10:50 a.m. with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. A Sunday evening worship is at 6 p.m.

Youth meetings: Wednesdays, 6:15 p.m.

Adult Bible classes: Different times during the week.

Information: Call (813) 907-1685 or visit fbcnewtampa.org.

[Last modified February 3, 2007, 00:20:57]


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