By Karen Rodriguez
The three golden words “Vaso De Unicion” displayed on a blue background with black shadow cutouts of people outlining the edge of the display, sets up the atmosphere of unity that one feels when they enter Iglesia Cristiana Casa del Alfarero.
Monday, Aug. 2 marked the one-year anniversary since the church opened its doors with a mission to spread the word of God in the Lutz community.
It began with about three families and has now multiplied in the past year to about eight or 10.
“Rev. Lugo and his wife one day realized that many of his friends were traveling at least 45 minutes to Tampa to go to church,” said Kelly Torres, deacon of the church. “So he began to have meetings at his house until he decided to gather everyone together and open a church of his own here in Lutz.”
This church is small and feels like one big family. Newcomers stick out like a sore thumb and are welcomed with a friendly “God bless you” by every church member.
“We have people from different faiths and backgrounds come and worship,” said the Rev. Mario T. Lugo. “As long as you embrace the word of God, anyone is welcome.”
The church is formally known as Pentecostal.
Lenny Morrero, 23, started to attend this church four months ago and fell in love with the atmosphere and attitude of the church. “I started coming only on Sundays and now I go to every service and event,” he said. “ I like that I wasn’t pressured to love God. The people here made me comfortable.”
Joanna Robles, a teacher of the youth and missionary programs, is among the first group of people who helped Lugo found the church.
“He (Rev. Lugo) came to my husband and I with a vision, and so here we are making his vision come true,” she said.
This vision is to preach the word of God based on the Bible in a tight-knit community.
“As a church we direct a lot of our energy towards helping people,” Lugo said. “However, because we are so small we are limited on the way we help our community. So we do small things such as translate legal documents and I notarize documents for those who need it.”
The size, however, does not deter the impact the church has on its members and surrounding community.
“Last Sunday we had a youth revival where we went around the Lutz area giving out free bottles of water and business cards letting people know we exist,” Morrero said. “I felt so good and impacted by this act of good we were doing for the community.”
Even 9-year-old Yessenia Gomez feels the impact of the church in her life.
“I get to learn about God here and show off to him. I also like that I can sing and dance,” she giggled.
The church has ministries for children, teenagers, adults, missions, Christian education and music. It is also bilingual with sermons in both Spanish and English. And it provides live stream videos of the sermons on its website, www.iglesiacasadelalfarero.net.
Iglesia Cristiana Casa del Alfarero
24156 SR 54, Suite 2, Lutz
Translation: Potter’s House Christian Church
Services: Sunday, 2 p.m.
Bible Study: Tuesday 7:30 p.m.
Ministries: Friday 7:30 p.m.