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Temple Terrace church steps up to help during CareFest 2014

An estimated 200 volunteers will gather Saturday at First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace for Be the Church, an event that will take them out into the community to do small projects that make a big impact.

Participants will wash windows and pay down the pumps at gas stations, install a wheelchair ramp for a neighbor, paint a widower's house and do yard work for a single mom.

"One of our goals this year was to make a more personal and deeper impact and to impact more individuals in need," said Josue Calzada, missions pastor. "We believe that good works lead to goodwill."

Be the Church Saturday coincides with Somebody Cares Tampa Bay's CareFest 2014, an annual day of service for which businesses, nonprofit groups and churches participate in a variety of Christ-centered volunteer efforts throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The event started 12 years ago with festivities surrounding Super Bowl XXXV. This year, about 3,000 people will participate in more than 200 projects.

"CareFest is about helping people, no strings attached," said Daniel Bernard, president of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay. "It's a time to show God's love in a practical way."

At First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace, Saturday's efforts will kick off the Missions 365 Conference, a week focused on the importance of serving and sharing the gospel outside church walls. Local and international missionaries will speak at special services.

On Wednesday, Daniel and Anna Gonzalez from Word of Life missions in Ecuador will talk about their days spent ministering to primitive cultures.

"Missions are the reasons the Christian church exists," Calzada said. "They give us an opportunity to share with others our belief that there is hope through Christ. There are still a lot of places in the world where people have never heard the name Jesus."

First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace, 10002 N 56th St., will present Missions 365 speakers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 5. For information on how to participate in "Be the Church," and for the list of projects, visit fbctt.org/bethechurch or call (813) 988-1138.

For more information on CareFest 2014, visit sctb.org.

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