Change in Venue Marks Bittersweet Milestone for This Urban Tampa Church
The pioneering Crossover Church is movin’ on up. Having outgrown its current facility, the church recently sold their campus. The last Sunday at the New Orleans Avenue location will be on January 24, 2010. “We had been talking and praying about this for a while now,” says Crossover Pastor, author and EMI recording artist Tommy “Urban D” Kyllonen. “We were bursting at the seams doing 3 services. People knew we were looking for a bigger space and praying for us as well.” Those prayers were answered when the church closed on the property on Friday January 8th – a miraculous feat in this turbulent economy. “It was sold to an up and coming Haitian Church ‘Christian Assembly’. They are really great people and we’re happy they’ll use our campus to continue to further the work of Christ”, adds Pastor Tommy.
Crossover is an institute in the Christian hip-hop community; known for its highly customized church home and urban-flavored worship style. Six hundred members pack out three Sunday services and over a hundred teenagers attend the Thursday night youth service. The church has garnered national media attention from such outlets as USA Today, The 700 Club, Christianity Today, Outreach Magazine and others.
The future 43,000-square-foot building, just a few miles away, boasts a 700-seat auditorium with several classrooms for kids, a café, gymnasium, food pantry, tutoring rooms, a hip-hop shop and many of the amenities the members enjoy at their current location.
Construction on the new facility will begin soon. The church plans to move in officially into the new spot later in 2010 in time for the 10-year anniversary of their Flavor Fest Conference the weekend of 10/10/10. In the meantime, starting Sunday, January 31st, Crossover will temporarily meet at the Comfort Inn Conference Center on E. Busch Boulevard and Nebraska Ave. (Next to I-275). Pastor Tommy says, “It’s double the size of our current church, so it gives us room to grow during the transition period and they have plenty of space for kids and fellowship afterwards in the huge atrium.” The new day will kick off with a special vision message from Pastor Tommy, an arts mash up and music from national recording artist Braille. Everyone will also get the new S.O.U.LMAG issue for free!
The final services will be bittersweet for those excited about the new move but hold special memories on New Orleans Avenue. “On the last Sunday, we’ll show a video highlighting some memories from our North Orleans campus,” Pastor Tommy explains. “A lot of great things happened here: People built a relationship with Christ here, they got baptized here, it was the first time they got on the mic and rapped, or it was their first Christian hip-hop experience. Many got reconnected with God, and some people even met their spouses here.” The last day on January 24th will also go out with a bang as they host DJ Official’s Release Concert @ 8pm for his new release “Entermission” featuring Lecrae, Tedashii, Sho Baraka, JR, K-Drama, Trip Lee, This’L, R-Swift, Mac The Doulous, Young Josh, JSon, Jaz, Magellan and H.G.A.
As the church gears up for the move, members and staff are collectively reflecting on God’s faithfulness in both its past and its bright future. “This is God’s vision, so we know we’re moving onto something better,” Pastor Tommy says. “We can see His hand in the whole process. When we made the decision to sell our property in late 2008, it didn’t seem like the best time to do it as the recession was kicking in. Our campus is a unique facility on a back street with two and a half acres. The reality is that it could have sat there for years with the market the way it is right now. However, it proved to be an opportunity for God to get His shine.”