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Grace Episcopal Church readies expansion in Tampa Palms

Here is a rendering of the pavilion Grace Episcopal Church has planned for its property in Tampa Palms. The structure will serve as an event hall and an outdoor wedding site for the community.

Courtesy of Grace Episcopal Church

Here is a rendering of the pavilion Grace Episcopal Church has planned for its property in Tampa Palms. The structure will serve as an event hall and an outdoor wedding site for the community.

NEW TAMPA — Grace Episcopal Church will soon expand its Tampa Palms location to include a Gothic sanctuary building and an event venue.

The church recently presented its plan, titled the Amazing Grace Project, which aims to create a property more beneficial to the community.

Grace Episcopal opened in 1996 to serve the developing area of Tampa Palms.

The church began services in its worship hall with plans to build a sanctuary, but financial strains delayed the construction.

Today, after selling a corner of its property for $4 million as part of a Bruce B. Downs Boulevard expansion, the church is debt free.

The church expansion will feature a new 70-foot bell tower, whose base will function as an event hall and an outdoor wedding pavilion. The church looks forward to rededicating itself to the people of Tampa Palms, said Warren Sponsler, warden of Grace Episcopal.

"Initially we were supposed to be a community church," Spons­ler said. "We kind of got away from that. It's important the community have a church it can use for life's important milestones."

The church anticipates a groundbreaking by mid 2017 and completion in early 2018. A capital fundraising campaign will begin in January.

The church will join others such as Bell Shoals Baptist in Brandon and Idlewild in North Tampa that offer community event space.

The Rev. Canon Benjamin Twinamaani serves as first rector at Grace Episcopal. The church offers traditional worship at 8 a.m. and contemporary worship at 10 a.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit gracenewtampa.org.

First Presbyterian Church of Brandon will participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's on Nov. 5. Participants are seeking donations and sponsors. Join the church team at act.alz.org/tampa. Find the team by name: First Presbyterian Church of Brandon. Choose to register or to donate if you are unable to walk. Registration is free. All who wish to join the team to raise awareness are welcome. For more information, contact Judy Smolk, coordinator of the walk for the church, at (813) 643-9586 or judybelle@tampabay.rr.com.

Keystone United Methodist Church, 16301 Race Track Road, Tampa, will host its holiday craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 8). The event will include crafts, vendors, gifts baskets, plants and home-baked goods. Kids can enjoy free parachute games and mini-pumpkin painting. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Craft fair proceeds will go toward mission projects. For more information, contact KUMCCraftFair@tampabay.rr.com or call (813) 920-5153.

Brandon Christian Women's Connection will host its fall luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday (Oct. 10) at the Bell Shoals Special Events Center, 2012 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. All women are welcome to attend the nondenominational event with the theme Kick Up Your Heels. Cost is $15 for lunch and entertainment, and $10 for first-time guests. For more information, call (813) 740-0098.

United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 Del Webb Blvd., will host an organ and piano concert titled Keyboard Extravaganza at 3 p.m. Oct. 16. Local organist Keith Rasmussen and church worship director Jeff Jordan will perform. A $10 donation is requested at the door. For more information, visit umcscc.org.

Calvary Community Church of Tampa, 4811 George Road, will hold its 50th anniversary Church Homecoming Celebration from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16. The event is open to all and especially intended for past and present members. There will be a recognition of special guests, missionaries from around the world, special guest speakers and a third-Sunday dinner for all.

The Sun City Center Campaign Against Human Trafficking will host a golf tournament fundraiser Oct. 29 at Club Renaissance. Golf registration and sponsorship forms are available at the Century 21 office on the corner of W Del Webb and Sun City Center Boulevard. For more information, call (813) 603- 3100.

Village Presbyterian Church, 13115 South Village Drive, Tampa, will host its Third Annual Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 5. Vendor applications are being accepted. For more information, email gfeicke1@verizon.net or call (813)962-4063.

Grace Episcopal Church readies expansion in Tampa Palms 10/04/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 8:03pm]
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