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A closer look: one Hillsborough church

By SHANNON BREEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2001


Central Christian Church

LOCATION: 4207 N Boulevard, Tampa. (813) 238-6694

SERVICES AND PROGRAMS: Sunday: 9:45 a.m. Sunday school, 10:45 a.m., morning worship. Youth and evening worship 6 p.m. Wednesday: 7 p.m. Wednesday Night Live and Bible studies for adults and youth. There is a counseling ministry and a music/drama group.

LEADERSHIP: Steve Altheide, 45, has been the pastor since August 2000. He was born in Bloomfield, Ill. He attended Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo. He has been preaching as long as he's been married -- more than 25 years. Altheide and his wife, Sheila, have three children: Travis, 21, Shannon, 19, and Tiffany, 15. He is a season ticket holder for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. He not only enjoys viewing sports, but avidly participates by shooting hoops at the local basketball courts.

HISTORY: The church was formed at Tampa Heights Christian Church in 1928 in a small building with benches and a sawdust floor on Selma and Margarite streets in Tampa. In January 1965, it moved into the present building.

RECENT SERMON TOPIC OR THEME: "The impact of the cross."

MEMBERSHIP: About 250.

OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY: The church supports Metropolitan Ministries, Pregnancy Care Centers and Steppin' Stone Farm for girls with problems, and supplies scholarships for members who attend Christian colleges. The Tampa Oratorical Society practices in the church facilities. It also supports summer Christian camps and has started several mission congregations. They also support seven foreign missionaries.

NOTABLE: Twenty-five percent of the church's general fund is allocated for the mission budget.

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