Hurricane Irma Updates – Relief and Support

September 16, 2017 – First Baptist Avon Park

We were excited to visit with Pastor Jon Beck and the church family at FBC Avon Park.  We were able to meet a need and learn about more needs. If you would like to donate supplies to FBC Avon click here.

September 15, 2017 – Disaster Relief Planning at Men’s Breakfast

Join us Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 7:30 a.m. for a short disaster relief meeting. Call Boe (813) 424-1791.

September 15, 2017 – Delivering Ice to Highlands County on Saturday September 16

Join Doug Jones and Boe Ellis after the Men’s Breakfast, Saturday, September 16, 2017, as we take the church van and a bunch of ice down to residents of Highlands County. Call Boe (813) 424-1791.

September 14, 2017 – New Member Class rescheduled for September 24

New Member Class has been rescheduled for Sunday Night, September 24, 2017. RSVP with Donna in the main office. (813) 251-2425.

September 13, 2017 – Florida Baptist Irma Relief Fund

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

Send donations by check or money order to (you can specify a fund or send to general and they will use in the most needed area):

Attn: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund   OR    Attn: Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief
6850 Belfort Oakes Place
Jacksonville, FL 32216


September 12, 2017 – Wednesday dinner cancelled / time of prayer added

  • On Wednesday night, September 13, 2017 we will not have our regular dinner at 5:15 p.m.
  • We will be hosting in the chapel a church-wide time of prayer beginning at 6:30 p.m.

This will take the place of our regular Wednesday night discipleship classes, effectively pushing those sessions back a week in order to allow families to travel and / or continue to recover from the storm.

  • While our regular Awana activities will also be postponed for week, Claudia and the Kids Zone team will be hosting an activity beginning at 6:30 p.m. So bring the kids.
  • Axis Student Ministry will be meeting at 6:30 p.m.

September 12, 2017 – Cancellations and future activities

Activities for Tuesday, September 12, 2017 are cancelled. Pastor Bob will give word later today on whether we can resume our regular Wednesday night schedule.

September 11, 2017 – Are you in need of assistance?

We pray you are safe and out of harm’s way in the aftermath of Irma. Please e-mail Pastor Bob if you or someone you know is in need of assistance.

We will do our best to rally support and respond.

September 11, 2017 – Eye of storm turns east

As Hurricane Irma moved through Southwest Florida Saturday afternoon and evening, we were preparing for the worst. As it turned out, Tampa was not ultimately in the path of the worst winds or storm surge. While we pray for those who were, we can report that our power did not go out, and our buildings were not damaged in any way.

We have no reports of injuries or health concerns, but some of our church family did have damage to their homes due to falling trees.


September 8, 2017 – Activities Cancelled and Rescheduled

Dear Church Family,

Due to Hurricane Irma we have decided to cancel all activities at the church this weekend.

We have all been monitoring Hurricane Irma and praying for those who have been impacted by this storm. Last Wednesday evening, the deacons and I discussed what our response should be depending on the various projected paths of Irma. We all agreed that if the storm stayed on a more easterly track and moved along the eastern coast of the state or into the Atlantic Ocean that we would carry on with ministries and activities as usual, but if the storm took a more westerly track either through the middle of the state or into the Gulf of Mexico it would be prudent to cancel weekend activities.

As of noon Friday, the projected track of the storm has it coming through the middle of the state sometime during SaturdayMonday. The Tampa area could be receiving tropical storm if not hurricane conditions as early as Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Therefore, in an abundance of caution we have decided that it is best to cancel the following ministries and activities:
1. Saturday, 9.9 – Student trip to Rock the Universe (students and families were notified of this cancellation on Thursday)
2. Sunday, 9.10 – Core Group Classes
3. Sunday, 9.10 – Worship
4. Sunday, 9.10 – First Steps Course (Will be rescheduled for a later date)
5. Sunday, 9.10 – all other scheduled meetings, Bible Studies and activities
6. Monday, 9.11 – the Church Office will be closed
7. Tuesday, 9.12 – Women on Mission and Joy Club
As you might imagine, we did not come to this decision lightly, however, we believe this is the wisest decision considering the circumstances. Please take every precaution necessary to protect and provide for your family.

Here are some things we are asking everyone to do to help:
1. Please help pass along word of the weekend cancellations to other church members and attendees. Take special note of anyone you believe does not frequently use email and who won’t be checking the church website or social media.
2. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact me at and make us aware of the need. We will do our best to provide assistance.
3. If you are staying in the area and are willing to help those in need, please also send me a notification of your availability to
4. If you have space to provide shelter for someone such as a shut-in or a UT student and are willing to help, please email
5. Following the storm, we would like to be prepared to help those whose property is damaged. If you are willing to help after the storm with disaster relief email
6. Pray for God to be glorified through this storm. Look for opportunities to be Gospel intentional.

Finally, remember that due to our location, the church is not a good shelter option, therefore we will not be opening the church to serve as a shelter.

God Bless,

Pastor Bob


September 7, 2017 – Rock the Universe trip cancelled

Axis Student ministry WILL NOT be traveling to Orlando Saturday, September 9, 2017 for Rock the Universe. If you previously paid for tickets, your check will be returned. Contact Daryle Whitaker.

September 5, 2017 – Tampa Baptist Manor Residents and Other Shelter Info

Tampa Baptist Manor Residents Bud and Ann Rose advised us that Strawberry Crest High School has been designated a shelter for “Disabled.” Call Bud (813) 546-6792.

Click here for a link to Hillsborough County’s list of shelters.


September 4, 2017 – Possible Cancellations / Letter from Pastor Bob

Dear Church Family,

We are actively monitoring Hurricane Irma and making plans should the storm have a direct impact on our area. With the storm expected to be in or around the Tampa Bay area over the weekend we may need to cancel or reschedule some ministries and activities. By the later part of the week a more accurate prediction of the path of the storm should be determined and we will be able to make final decisions and relay those to you.

Some activities that may be impacted:
Saturday, Sept. 9 – Student Ministry to Rock the Universe
Sunday, Sept. 10Sunday morning Core Groups and Worship
Sunday, Sept. 10 – First Steps Course

In addition, should the storm force evacuations of our area and you or someone you know needs assistance, please notify the church office staff and we will do our best to provide assistance.

Finally, be aware that FBC Tampa is not an official disaster relief shelter. Our proximity to Hillsborough Bay and the Hillsborough River do not make our location ideal due to possible flooding. Therefore, at this time we are not planning to open the church facilities in order to provide shelter.

We will send out additional information later in the week.

God Bless,

Pastor Bob