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Christ the King Lutheran Church

LOCATION: 11421 Big Bend Road, Riverview, (813) 677-1332.

SERVICES: Sunday school for all ages begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by a communion service at 10 a.m. A midweek Bible study takes place Wednesdays at 7 p.m. throughout the year, with the exceptions of Advent, when the church holds evening prayer, and Lent, which includes communion in its midweek service.

HISTORY: The church was founded by the Rev. Gerald Scharr, a Lutheran mission planter, in about 1990, with Scharr's family as the first and only members of the congregation. Scharr remained until 1993, when a vacancy pastor took over until a permanent pastor came to the church in 1995. Initially, the congregation rented space in a Baptist church and then moved to the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Riverview until Oct. 31, 1999, when Christ the King moved into its own sanctuary.

LEADERSHIP: The Rev. Brian Hamer came to the church in 1995,just after graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary in his home town of Fort Wayne, Ind., and being ordained by the Lutheran Church _ Missouri Synod. Hamer received his bachelor's degree in music education from Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is working on his master's degree in music at the University of South Florida. Hamer and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for two years. Mrs. Hamer teaches at Immanuel Lutheran School in Brandon.

RECENT SERMON TOPIC OR THEME: This past Sunday, Hamer focused his sermon on the Gospel According to John, Chapter 10, when Jesus refers to himself as the good shepherd. "The good shepherd brings the sheep into his flock through baptism, at least in our line of thinking," Hamer said. "Confirmation confirms that indeed we are still God's sheep and will remain his sheep. Obviously, Jesus is the good shepherd, we are his sheep, the pasture in which we dwell is the church and the grass is the gospel." According to Hamer, the church performed one baptism and seven confirmations during the service.


NOTABLE: Christ the King's vacation Bible school, for all children in kindergarten through sixth grade, runs July 10-14.