LifePoint Church, which took over the Winn-Dixie Supermarket in 2006, has moved to Wesley Chapel and AdventHealth is moving in. (Photo: Charmaine George)

The LifePoint Church building located on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in front of Hunter’s Green, has been sold to Advent Health, which intends to renovate it into a “care pavilion.”

AdventHealth paid $7.4 million for the 5.84-acre property and reportedly will spend $8.44 million more to renovate it, and plans to include exam rooms and imaging capabilities such as MRIs, X-rays and CT scans.

“We are still working to determine which care services will best fit the needs of the community,” says Richelle Hoenes-Ahearn, a spokesperson for AdventHealth. “We are excited about the opportunity to bring this kind of facility to the area and make it more convenient and accessible for people to prioritize health and wellness.”

Tampa City Council member Luis Viera, who represents District 7, which includes New Tampa, says he is working with AdventHealth to be sure the facility meets the needs of the New Tampa community.

He plans to have a meeting with AdventHealth in November to allow neighborhood leaders to ask any questions they may have about the project.

“This is a facility with a lot of potential benefits to the New Tampa area,” he says. “Dialogue is key.”

Meanwhile, LifePoint Church has moved its services to Wesley Chapel and also changed its name to The Gathering Church. 

Executive pastor Brian Brown says the sale of the building is not related to the effects of Covid-19. In fact, he says, discussions with AdventHealth started well before the pandemic hit, when the hospital system approached the church with an offer.

Brian says the church had previously been approached by other suitors looking to purchase the building, but the offer from AdventHealth was, “the right price at the right time.”

The sale closed in mid-September, which was at the end of at least nine or ten months of discussion and work towards that goal, says Brian. He added that the lengthy process AdventHealth had to go through for permitting and rezoning was somewhat delayed because parts of the government had been shut down due the pandemic.

LifePoint originally purchased the building in 2006, when it was a vacant former Winn-Dixie supermarket and the church was meeting at the New Tampa Family YMCA. LifePoint opened its doors at the building in 2007.

“It was great for us,” says Brian, “but we’ve had a change in focus as a ministry.”

Brad White is the senior pastor for the church, which at one time had multiple campuses in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Now, the church is exclusively in Wesley Chapel, meeting at Wiregrass Ranch High on Mansfield Blvd. on Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon.

“We have now focused all of our attention on the Wesley Chapel area,” says Brian. “That’s where all the growth is going.”

He says the church did a demographic study of its database and found that the majority of its congregation was coming from Wesley Chapel anyway, so the decision was made to move into the area where its people are living.

While the church may purchase another building in the future, for now, that’s not its priority.

“Our focus is just to love people and to help them begin a relationship with God,” says Brian, adding that buildings that are only used once a week cost a lot of money to maintain. “Now, dollars that were being spent on a facility are being used to facilitate relationships. We’re excited. It’s a great location for AdventHealth, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

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