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Grant will help start Lutheran church

Building a new church takes an ounce of soul, three teaspoons of faith and a cup of luck.

Oh, and a pound of money.

The Rev. David Gardner Tweed just got some of the main ingredient for the Joyful Servants Lutheran Church that he and his wife and co-pastor, the Rev. Rita Gardner Tweed, want to create in New Tampa.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America recently awarded the congregation a $7,500 grant, Gardner Tweed said. The national church bestows only a handful of similar gifts each year, he said.

"This is really big stuff," Gardner Tweed said. "We are incredibly, incredibly blessed and honored to do something like this."

Officials at the Chicago-based church headquarters were at a convention this week and could not be reached for comment.

Gardner Tweed said the money will pay for an outreach program called PRIME, "People Responding in Mission Effort." Missionaries from Lutheran churches around the nation will come to Joyful Servants this summer to help them prepare for their first service, he said.