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Church Has Casual Approach, Serious Mission

Aletheia Tampa has moved from the University of South Florida campus to New Tampa.

Church Has Casual Approach, Serious Mission

The Aletheia Tampa church recently moved into new, roomier digs at the , and Lead Pastor Aaron Proffitt couldn’t be happier. 

“These guys blessed us, dude,” he said of the Y, adding the community facility is charging the religious outfit a highly competitive rate.

For the past two years, Aletheia had been meeting on the campus of the University of South Florida but had outgrown the space. Membership is at about 200 people. Yet while the Y can potentially hold 500 worshippers, Proffitt said, filling the space to the brim is not exactly the aim. 

“Our ultimate goal is to just see people be one with Christ,” he said.

The YMCA does not open until 1 p.m. Sundays in order to accommodate morning worship services. Aletheia meets in the gymnasium, while young members gather in individual rooms based on age. 

Aletheia (pronounced ah-lay-thee-ah) is the Greek word for truth. The Tampa house of worship is part of The Aletheia Network, consisting of seven churches located on college campuses in Virginia and Florida plus one in Mexico, according to the network’s website.

While the network focuses on the “new generation of Christ followers,” Aletheia Tampa is open to all generations. Members come from New Tampa, the USF area, Wesley Chapel, Temple Terrace and even Brandon.

Aletheia Tampa began in 2009 when folks from Aletheia Harrisonburg — in Virginia — came to the Bay Area to create a new church. The early days included holding Bible studies out an apartment. Soon, Proffitt took the helm.

According to his bio, Proffitt is “a pastor’s kid” from Southern California who helped establish churches in Virginia, Florida and Mexico. He is a married father of four who lives on County Line Road.

The leadership team also includes Executive Pastor John Sheffield. The Arbor Greene resident is a married father of three. He is in charge of the operational side of Aletheia Tampa. 

“My job at the church is not easy to define,” he said. “The best I can describe it is that i do pretty much anything and everything that comes up in order to enable Aaron to focus on the preaching, teaching and the vision-casting of the church.”

Sheffield said newcomers to Aletheia can expect a “more contemporary” and fun worship service that includes a band playing faith-based rock. He sees the new facility helping Aletheia reach new heights. 

Aletheia, which performs outreach missions in the University Area community, considers itself a “biblical Christian” church. Can it be described as non-denominational Christian?

“We are just a church,” Proffitt said. “We prefer non-labeled. We just stay away from labels and titles.”

Aletheia intends to stay plugged in at USF despite the move to the Y. They maintain a campus organization there and on Aug. 29 they will kick off midweek services at the school’s Marshall Center.

Additional Information: 

Services are held 10 a.m. at the New Tampa YMCA, 16221 Compton Drive. Visit Aletheia’s website at www.aletheiatampa.com to learn more.

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