LOCATION: 14202 Downing St., Dover. (813) 659-2600.
HISTORY: Dover Advent Christian Church was founded in 1905 by the Rev. C.M. Miley, who drafted the original charter with a 15-member congregation. The church, previously named the Second Advent Church, originally met in a packing shed. The church moved to its present location in 1961. Through the years, the church has undergone many transitions, including the name change as well as a number of leaders. The current leadership has been with the church for more than 24 years.
LEADERSHIP: The Rev. Doug Lucas was sent to Dover Advent Christian Church on July 4, 1977, just three months after graduating with a bachelor's degree in theology from Berkshire Christian College in Massachusetts. He and his wife, Paula, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August. They have four children: Angela, Shannon, Chris and Michael.
SERVICES AND PROGRAMS: Services include a worship service in Spanish at 1 p.m. on Sundays and at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Friday by the Rev. Anibal Perez. All other services are held in English. Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m., morning worship at 11 a.m. and evening worship at 7 p.m. Both a children's service called "Kurios," Greek word for lord, and a prayer meeting are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. There is a youth meeting for both teens and younger kids at 7 p.m. The ministry incorporates sports, primarily basketball and volleyball. There is a Bible study and prayer meeting at 9 a.m. Fridays. To try to help those in need, the church operates its "clothes closet" and "food pantry" programs, which offer donated items to people in need.
RECENT SERMON, TOPIC OR THEME: The Advent Christian denomination, unrelated to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, focuses its message primarily on the second coming of Jesus Christ. Lucas is now preaching through the book of Revelations and plans on finishing in about a year.
MEMBERSHIP: About 250, including the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking congregations.
NOTABLE: Lucas has recently become a member of the Adventist Christian's International Missions Advisory Council. Although he is used to staying in one place, Lucas said he spent a week in February in Mexico to help determine the needs of the various missions. He said that his trip was very enlightening. "My overall impression was that we take a lot for granted in this country, and don't realize how blessed we are."
_ SHANNON BREEN