A Transformational Campaign

With Your Help

With Your Help

As we move beyond replacing our bridge, Covid lock-downs and a pastor search, where do we see Westtown Church and our growth over the next seven years?

This represents a big VISION for Westtown Church and the ministries we provide for our members and community.

Our Elders are currently seeking feedback from the Congregation, the community of Westtown Church, and Westtown Christian Academy on this seven-year vision – so we can better define each stage and begin to determine the projected costs of each opportunity.

Questions or Feedback?

Join Us At Our Q & A Sessions

June 23rd & July 14th

Please join us at one (or both) evenings – we desire to listen to your feedback, answer your questions, and receive your ideas and thoughts.

Where It All Begins

God has both blessed us and challenged us, yet we have never strayed from our Mission and Values

The Local Church Is Critical To Our Well-Being

In our world today, for many, the story of the Bible seems irrelevant or even backwards.

To know and find salvation in Jesus is the most important thing in life, for everyone. This is why the Church exists – to be a beacon of hope, for those overwhelmed by what the world throws at them, by sharing the good news of Jesus through: outreach, the gathering of believers and those curious about Jesus together, and teaching believers though discipleship.

Many believe we need a “good life” – morals, education, and financial stability – to be successful in life. All those are helpful, but none are as essential as our need for Jesus. With him, what we do in this life, and in our churches will always be relevant and essential for the world around us.

We are committed to OUR VISION of the future

We believe God has called us to reach the unchurched in the surrounding areas of Northwest Tampa, and to develop people to be committed followers of Christ. We believe in ministry that is both attractional and missional. We desire to multiply our ministry through church planting, leadership, development, sending missionaries abroad and domestic missional works.

Our History

When our founding pastor finished seminary, he felt the call of God to return to Tampa and plant a church. The Westchase area seemed ideal since it had no permanent church presence in the community. In 2005 the Presbytery of Southwest Florida gave approval to plant a mission church, specifically in West Tampa, incorporated as Westtown Presbyterian Church in America, Inc. With the support of family, friends, and the surrounding community, Westtown Church began.

2005-2006

Westtown Church began as a church plant in December of 2005 as the first permanent church in the Westchase Community of Tampa. Founding Pastor Frank Taylor, along side a handful of faithful followers of Christ first met in the Taylors’ home, then moved to a local YMCA in February of 2006, which they rented for Sunday evening services.

2006-2009

An Easter Sunday morning service, in April of 2006, brought 40 people to worship at Westwood Lakes Park, off Nine Eagles Drive. From that momentum, Westtown Church started meeting Sunday mornings that August, at Mary Bryant Elementary School, for the next few years.

2009-2012

Westtown Church was soon “particularized” (given full church status) in 2009 by our Presbytery, and elected its first Elders and Deacons (those ordained to lead and serve our church). Morning worship services moved to Farnell Middle School in 2011 (next door from Mary Bryant School), just a quarter-mile from our future church campus.

2010-2013

In 2010, as an answer to prayer, the Westtown Church had an opportunity to purchase 30 acres of land off Race Track Road. The land was heavily discounted because it required the construction of a bridge to access. With faith, and the commitment of the growing number of families attending, Westtown purchased the land and contracted for a bridge and a Sanctuary building to be built.

2013-2021

In 2013, Westtown held its first service in our current Sanctuary building. The Westtown Christian Academy (WCA) opened in 2015 upon completion of our education and office building. This nursery and preschool serves as a vital ministry outreach to 150 children and their families annually in our community. We supported our first church plant until May 2021, when City Church of St. Petersburg was particularized as a full church in our Presbytery.

2020-NOW

Westtown has had many challenges over the past four years – COVID-19 lockdowns, the removal of our Senior Pastor from his role, and the failure of our bridge.

We have many blessings to celebrate and are moving forward.

  • Our new Senior Pastor, Cory Colravy, starting in June 2024.

  • Our staff and leadership have grown stronger.

  • Our members are serving one another, inviting others, and involved in sharing the Gospel.

We want to share the good news of Jesus through:

  • Worship & Music

  • Discipleship

  • Life Groups (Small Groups)

  • Women’s Ministry

  • Men’s Ministry

  • Short-term Mission Trips

  • Westtown Christian Academy

  • Kids’ Town (Children’s ministry)

  • Westtown Student Ministries

  • Opportunities to Serve & Grow

  • Biblical Gospel Preaching

  • Local Missional Partnerships

The Challenges We Face

In late 2022, it was noted that there was some settling occurring of our entrance bridge to our property.

Inspection and engineering assessments were conducted and it was determined that the bridge, which crosses the active Double Branch Creek, had significant and dangerous levels of washout below and around it from both the creek and the run-off from the approaches. Attempts to repair the bridge were unsuccessful and engineers determined a replacement bridge would be needed. The new bridge must be longer (by 26 feet) and higher (by five feet) than the original structure based on the known activity of this creek. In addition, the project would have to allow access to the preschool and Church without prolonged closure (i.e. months) to complete the work.

Since opening the doors of Westtown Christian Academy (WCA), the need for a safe, nurturing and Christ-centered preschool has only increased.

As presented to the Congregation in January of 2024, we are currently moving forward with the addition of two classrooms, for WCA, for the upcoming school year. This will require a buildout of the south hall (in the Sanctuary building, to the right from the lobby upon entering). This will include a secured access door just beyond the Women’s Restroom and will connect internally to the existing WCA space. The entrance to the family restroom would be moved to be included in the WCA side of the secure access door. While we will be gaining two WCA classrooms, we will be losing the various meeting rooms in that hallway and some existing office and storage space.

As churches reach 85% of room capacity, it is advisable to either offer additional worship services or expand the sanctuary space.

The former option requires capital investment, while the latter requires people investment in our Sunday worship volunteers. The original Westtown Church Sanctuary building was designed for expansion, and a plan was presented to the Congregation in 2018. It was in planning, but stalled when the challenge of Covid-19 arrived. The expansion not only moves certain rooms and spaces around to accomodate increased fellowship space, it would also eliminate all classroom space in the Sanctuary building. This is why the added classroom building would need to be done first – posing significant planning and financial risks that require a well-executed, long-term plan.

Despite the growth of our campus in the past decade, we are in critical need of more space for our current and future needs.

For the past five years, Westtown Church has had a vision of one day constructing a multi-purpose environment, that would include a gymnasium, a stage for events, and a commercial-style kitchen – a space we would call a “Family Life Center”. We have envisioned this center to be the hub for fellowship for our members and their children, while serving as a beacon to the many unchurched families in our community, through a variety of ministries designed to draw everyone closer to Jesus.

Our Seven Year Vision

Over the past five years, the Session (Elders) – with ongoing feedback from members, staff, and more recently, our new Senior Pastor, Cory Colravy – has been exploring opportunities for our continued growth and development in our service to Christ, at Westtown, and in our surrounding community.

Our Primary Opportunities:

  • Expanding our worship space as the congregation grows.

  • Expanding our Christ-centered preschool (WCA) enrollment to best serve our growing area.

  • Offer more Christian education on Sunday and throughout the week through various offerings.

  • Offer more space for gathering as a church family.

  • Offer a Christian-centered alternative to secular sports programs in the area.

Investing In Four Key Areas

New Bridge

  • We were forced to proceed immediately due to the risk of bridge failure.

  • Paying off the bridge debt will be our FIRST priority.

  • It is the only feasible entrance for our 30 acre property.

  • The new bridge will last decades, not years.

New Preschool & Education Building

  • We consistently have a wait-list; often over 100 children

  • More children and families experiencing the Gospel

  • Children’s classrooms provide space for children’s Sunday School classes

  • 2nd floor provides space for adult Sunday School, Bible Studies, and Life Groups

  • Creates additional, larger space for community meetings

  • Creates covered drop-off for preschool students

  • Creates new, enhanced Youth Room

  • Provides storage space for the Church and preschool

  • Preschool provides profits for debt paydown & supporting other Westtown ministries

Expanded Sanctuary Building

  • Our Church membership is growing and we will need more space soon

  • 80-100 additional seats per worship service

  • Expanded space to gather for fellowship before and after services

  • Enhanced and upgraded technology to accommodate larger space

New Family Life Center

  • Gym for sports programs & community leagues used by the Church, the pre-school, home school groups, and the general Westchase community

  • Stage provides opportunity for worship, concerts, and children’s performances

  • Kitchen allows for opportunities such as church-wide meals and outreach

  • VBS, Sports Camp, and other seasonal event space for inclement weather

  • Area for Westtown preschool, kids, and youth to utilize for various activities

Architectural Renderings

We are providing some architectural drawings that are currently illustrative only, as nothing is set in stone, other than our bridge, which is currently under construction.

New Bridge

After months of assessment, permitting and design, we began the demolition and replacement of the bridge in April of 2024. The existing compromised bridge will be split lengthwise. It will then be supported to allow traffic on the north half, while the south half construction is completed. It is anticipated that it will take approximately four months to complete the bridge. The new bridge will secure access to our 30-acre campus for decades to come and allow us to consider some exciting enhancements to Westtown Church as we grow.

The New Bridge

Made of reinforced concrete and steel, is 5-feet higher and 26-feet longer to meet Florida Department of Transportation and the 100-year flood stage requirements. Below, we’ve included a few photos of current construction progress.

New Preschool & Education Building

With the additional Westtown Christian Academy (WCA) classrooms, we could get infants and children off our waiting lists and into an early, Christ-centered, learning environment. For many families, this might be their first experience with a Christian environment and an enormous opportunity for all. The second floor would allow for additional office, meeting rooms and storage space – which the Church desperately needs. We would move the current youth room from its existing location to the new building, to create a more effective space for the needs of Westtown Student Ministries. The additional classroom enrollment and rent from Westtown Christian Academy will cover any debt service on construction of the new Preschool and Education Building.

The New Preschool & Education Entrance

To the right of the existing education building, we envision a covered entrance to the New Preschool & Education Building, more central to parking and classrooms than the current entrance.

Expanded Sanctuary Building

We see that people congregate for long periods of time in the courtyard when the weather is good, and not so much when it isn’t. This would encourage connection with others in your Church family. There would be ample space for individuals and families to gather and connect before and after services, and to welcome and engage visitors. We envision an inviting space with intentional lighting, reason to stick around and plenty of comfort and warmth.

Expanded Entrance Area

Here, you see an expanded glass atrium over the current courtyard, to enlarge our Sanctuary Building lobby, creating more space for gathering on Sunday mornings and events that are sheltered from the elements.

Enlarged Lobby

The enlarged lobby in the Sanctuary Building would be spacious, allow more space for a children’s check-in, Connections Center, and perhaps an area for Sunday morning coffee and refreshments.

New Family Life Center

A new Family Life Center would be a multi-purpose building with a singular focus – creating a large gathering space for our Westtown Church family and community to connect with one another, and with Christ.

Gymnasium & Sports Programs: We see every day that local recreation teams are more frequently including Sunday morning or early afternoon events that conflict with family worship time. Moreover, sports in a Christian environment can provide a wonderful opportunity for children to mature physically, emotionally, and spiritually while developing cooperation and social skills, to name a few.

Support for Larger Events & Additional Space: Designing the gymnasium with a stage would allow us to host both large church events, Christian concerts, church-wide dinners, and be leasable as space to our community when available.

Commercial Kitchen & Gatherings: Breaking bread together has always been an essential function of any church. The Family Life Center could include a meeting space off the kitchen for small- to moderate-sized events and spill into the gymnasium area for large church-wide events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. At a minimum we have a bridge to build and we need more space for the needs of the church. The size of the space has not been determined yet. This is a must have. Additionally we have loan covenants that require a capital campaign.

The amount we need to raise all depends on the final scope of the project we determine, based off questions and feedback we receive from our church family. We are working to receive firm estimates throughout the summer to confirm the amount when we get back together. However, based on the current renderings we estimate somewhere in the range of $4-6 million.

The conversations and feedback we will receive over the summer will help us to understand which elements of the Vision plan Westtown is interested in completing and also the priority in which they should be completed. If we don’t raise enough funds for all elements, we will complete the pieces based on priority and then wait to grow more in the future. For example, That may mean we build the first floor of the WCA building but not the second, or that we build both floors but don’t complete/finish out the second floor immediately. These specifics will become more clear as we process throughout the summer and early fall.

What a blessing that would be and we all know that all things are possible through God. We would use funds to complete the final scope of work presented by the Session (Our Elders) this fall, and then use additional funds to pay down debt. We want to be a debt-free church so we can use the funds that go towards debt payments to expand our ministry capabilities going forward.

We anticipate starting the capital campaign sometime in the fall. So, we hope to have the final vision plan done approximately 30 days before that – sometime in early October.

We have two scheduled Q&A follow-ups, in response to our Vision Night (held on May 19th), scheduled for June 23rd and July 14th. In addition to these opportunities for continued discussion, the vision committee members and all of the Session will be doing the following:

  • Lots of prayer – we ask you to join us in prayer too!
  • Discussing with church members and regular attenders
  • Meeting with staff
  • Meeting with Deacons
  • Working with our consultant
  • Attending Life Groups and Bible Studies
  • Finalizing cost estimates for the New Preschool & Education Building, Sanctuary Expansion and the New Family Life Center
  • Talking all this feedback and presenting a final vision to the congregation

Get In Touch

This is, of course, an ambitious undertaking.

We look forward to joining you in prayer, and getting your feedback, as we engage our Church and community in the coming weeks and months.

How Can We Pray For You?

Prayer will play an integral role as we move forward with decisions about how the Lord might be leading Westtown Church in this Vision.

Have Questions or Feedback?

Thank you in advance for sharing your questions and feedback. We value your input greatly, and look forward to hearing from you!

Give A Gift

If you would like to designate giving beyond your normal tithes and offerings, you can donate towards our Vision Campaign Fund.