L O C A L S T O R Y
This Sunday Marni Zafar shared with us how God has used prayer to showcase His grace at work in her life.
She and her husband have been married for 42 years and have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. Marni was born a Christian, or so she thought. Until she was 31 years old she had convinced herself of this.
“I realized now that I did not have ears to hear. What an epiphany moment, one morning, at bible study when I understood I had to ask Christ to forgive me and to come into my life. I did!”
An important part of Marni’s life is prayer. She shared a few of the many times that God used difficult situations to reveal more of Himself.
Seven years ago she got a concerning phone call from her youngest daughter. All she could hear on the phone was her daughters voice crying out in pain, then silence followed by a male voice that said hello and then the phone hung up. All night Marni prayed. She called the police, the friends her daughter had been with and another friend to join her in praying. Finally at 6am her daughter called to say she was fine.
“We found out the next day that she had been a victim of the date rape drug. We convinced her to go to the police and to get counseling. I was so thankful for God’s presence that night! I was thankful that I got that phone call, so I could cover her in prayer.”
About a year ago Marni began to have trouble with her eyes. She found out that she had a rare disease called Histoplasmosis. After being treated for the wrong disease twice, it was finally discovered that she had Graves Disease with Thyroid Eye Disease. One of the treatments included a weekly infusion of steroids.
“Every Friday I would have an infusion and every Friday night I was wide awake, all night! I would pray, asking for healing and then something happened. I started praying longer and longer and more and more in depth and it wasn’t just me praying, it was receiving guidance and answers to prayers. I felt as though I was in the presence of God.”
Thank you Marni for reminding of us that prayer is such a privilege! Listen to her full story on our website under our "talks" section.
Sundays at 10AM
Disciples who make disciples to impact the city of St. Pete for Jesus.
St. Petersburg has an average of 361 days of sunshine each year; because of this the city has been nicknamed “The Sunshine City.” It’s no wonder why St. Pete is the largest city in the most densely populated county in the state. St Pete is a diverse, eclectic, artistic and active city.
I love St. Pete. I love its quirkiness and diversity; I love its passion and beauty. Our hope is for Local Church St. Pete to be a place to grow in faith, ask hard questions and take time to explore the truths of who Jesus is and what it means for our lives today. Simply put, we are disciples of Jesus. An imperfect community of people called out of brokenness and shame and called into a relationship with Him. We believe in the mission Jesus gave his disciples to love one another and make disciples. We’re humbled by God’s grace and eager to share the joy and hope we have in Him, and we understand the local church is God’s missionary strategy to reach a broken world.
In 1 Peter 2:9-10 we find the church (followers of Jesus) has a “double identity.” The church is called out of the world to belong to God and sent back into the world to declare His praises. Our temptation can be to either withdraw and isolate ourselves or to blend in and compromise. Instead, we’re called to be set apart while at the same time deeply involved in the world, entering the pain and suffering of those around us. We believe God has called us to be a church in the city of St. Pete that understands it’s identity as the called out and sent in people of God.
I’ve pastored for 20 years in the bay area (15 of those years in St Pete), and I’ve been encouraging local pastors and church planters along the way and will continue to do so. The network of relationships we have with local pastors is a gift and I know it will prove to be a strength for us as a church. We’re excited to move forward and see a new expression of God’s people through Local Church St. Pete. Our story is still unfolding and we can’t wait to see who God brings into it. We’re forever grateful for the people we get to walk out our faith alongside and we’re excited to move forward. We would love for you to join us!
With Joy and Faith,
Daryn Kinney has pastored for 20 years in the Tampa Bay area, 15 of those years in St. Pete. His passion for the local church and his love for discipleship has been a focus for him over the years. He enjoys music and has led worship teams longer than he’s pastored. Originally a visual art major, he has a deep appreciation for the arts. Daryn married his high school love in 1999 and has three boys (Jude, Shay and Silas).
Beliefs + Resources
Our hope is for Local Church St. Pete to be a community where you can grow in your faith, ask hard questions and take time to explore the truths of who Jesus is and what it means for your life today.
Here are some truths we treasure and resources we love to share. Enjoy exploring them.
God himself has come to rescue and restore us in and through Jesus Christ. When we change our mind about who is God in our lives and by faith believe that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection has secured our rescue and restored us to a right relationship with God the Father, we’re then made new in Jesus. Through Jesus, God has graciously provided a way for our broken relationship with Him to be restored and made right again. It’s this very message of reconciliation and hope that defines who we are as a church. We get to come alongside others and say, “Look at what God has done in Jesus!…Jesus is God’s answer to the hurt, pain, brokenness and longing in our own hearts. God has not left us alone, He has provided a way for us to be at peace with him – this story of Jesus grows out of a bigger story – one that’s been shouting promises of forgiveness for ages and now in Jesus we see how those promises have been answered!” Nothing shapes the identity of Local Church St. Pete more than this Gospel Story.
Tim Keller: “When we experience Christ’s radical grace through repentance and faith, it becomes the most intense, foundational event of our lives…In Christ we have both spiritually died and been raised to new life.” Our identity is not in how we dress, what we look like, how much money we make or where we live. It isn’t something we have to earn either. Our identity is found in Jesus and this means we’ve entered a new family, a Gospel community, where we are loved and accepted, not because of our work and effort but because of the work and effort of Jesus. As adopted sons and daughters we want to share the same kind of compassion and grace we’ve received from God our Father. Completely captivated by this new identity we have in Jesus, we know it’s best lived out in the context of Gospel community.
We were never meant to live our life in Christ on our own. Jesus said John 13:35, “all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The New Testament exhorts us to be joined to, devoted to, counsel, honor, confess your sins to, forgive, bear with, carry the burdens of, be kind to, teach and admonish, build up, pray for, love one another. In other words, we’re called to be and do something together that we could never be and do on our own. Through this new “Gospel community” God continues to gather a people from every tribe, tongue and nation – including the people of St. Pete. Life is messy, no one is perfect and community can be tough at times, but we understand the church is God’s idea for our good and His glory.
In Thessalonians 1:5 we read that the Thessalonians heard the Gospel of Jesus in a way that came not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. The result? They became imitators of those who preached the gospel, imitators of the Lord Jesus himself. In other words they connected what they heard to their very lives. The message they received rang out not because they planned an event that would demonstrate their faith but because their very lives gave them away! Their faith in God had become known everywhere because their passion was to serve the living and true God. We want this to be said of Local Church St. Pete. We understand that intentionality in serving God’s mission happens when there’s an overflow of love and joy for God and a true brokenness for the lost. We’re humbled by God’s grace and that translates into active, ongoing service. We aren’t striving to prove our own significance or aiming to build a name for ourselves, instead we want the people of St. Pete to see Jesus for who He is and bring honor to His name.
John Stott: “He (Jesus) did not stay in the safe immunity of His heaven. Instead He emptied himself of His glory and humbled himself to serve. He actually entered our world. He took our nature, lived our life and died our death. He could not have identified with us more closely than he did…And now he calls us to enter other people’s worlds, as he entered ours…We are called to enter other people’s social and cultural reality: into their thought-world, struggling to understand their misunderstandings of the gospel, and into the pain of their alienation, weeping with those who weep. And this without compromising our Christians beliefs, values and standards.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Local Church St. Pete is a non-denominational church. Our statement of faith is The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement.
Expectation and Dependency
We believe God will do great things for our good and His glory. We want to trust him and lean on him through prayer in every way.
Humility and Compassion
We know we are not the “saviors” of St Pete, there’s only one. We are not the only thing going on in St Pete. God is at work through many people and in various ways but we get to be a part of His mission. We will always have something to learn from others. We have been shown compassion, and want to show it to others.
Love and Mercy
Jesus said, “The world will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” We want to walk in love. This will require sacrifice and patience, sincerity and time. We have been forgiven and shown mercy through Jesus and want to show forgiveness and mercy to others.
Intentionality and Hospitality
The time is now and the mission is before us. We want to move about our day-to-day lives with intentionality. We want to listen to, learn from, eat with and welcome people into our lives.
Tolerance and Community
We do not have to agree on everything with someone else to show them love and respect. We do not need to accept their belief system as true to be their friend. We want to bring honest questions and honest answers where we have them. We know this happens best in the context of genuine community.
Disciples Who Make Disciples (one page in-depth resource for disciple-making)
Discipleship Groups (resources, tips and FAQs)
Acts 29 Network – A diverse, global family of church-planting churches. Learn more HERE.
Serving connects us to people, guarding us against isolation, and connects us to God’s work, a privilege like no other.
Join a Sunday Serve Team
- Please fill out the Sunday Serve Teams form to initiate the process.
- If you’re interested in serving with Local Kids or our Student Ministry you will need to fill out the Local Kids and Student Ministry Volunteer Application as well.
Join a House Group
- We typically meet in homes two to three times a month across St. Pete, where we spend time together often sharing food, discussing the Scriptures, praying, and looking for opportunities to serve one another and the city. Find one HERE.
Connect with LOCAL mission
- Our House Groups partner with, learn from and come alongside local ministries reaching the marginalized, hurting, abused and neglected of our city. If you want more information on how to get involved with one or all of the ministries please reach out to the designated point of contact. Learn more HERE.
Want to get involved but don’t know where to start?
START HERE w/ Local
A brief introduction (10 minutes) designed to welcome and connect you to Local Church St. Pete. If you’re new to Local Church St. Pete, this is for you! We’ll share our mission, vision and values and help you get connected to House Group, Sunday Gatherings and the LOCAL mission we’re on together. START HERE w/ Local takes place the first Sunday of every month from 11:20AM-11:30AM in the room to the right of the stage.
BELONG HERE w/ Local
BELONG HERE w/ Local is a class designed to welcome you to Local Church St. Pete and is a necessary step in the pursuit of membership. We’ll share our history, Core Desires and spend time talking about the mission we’re on together. We’ll also help you find a House Group and a place to serve during our Sunday Gatherings. BELONG HERE w/ Local takes place quarterly on Sundays from 11:45AM-1:45PM. Lunch is provided and childcare is available at no cost.
LEAD HERE w/ Local
A leadership development track that involves small group study and discussion, one to one Bible reading, hospitality, community, leadership opportunities and ministry partnerships.
Want some tools that will help you stay connected?
Church Center App
Download the Church Center App today and have access to all our group info, event details, Sunday handouts, online giving and more. Download the Church Center App for your IOS device HERE AND download it for your Android device HERE.
NOTES: We use Planning Center for all volunteer scheduling. It’s an easy and helpful way to keep track of where you’re scheduled to serve. Here’s a brief video that will help you become more familiar with Planning Center.
News + updates
Please sign up to receive News + updates by entering your email address at the bottom of our webpage. You can also stay up to date on ways to serve through the news section at the top of our webpage, social media and the Local Church St. Pete calendar.
PO BOX 7664 St. Pete, FL 33734