Iglesia Comunidad Biblica in Spring Hill, less than one year old, hopes to plant another church

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Editor’s Note: Kidannie Laboy is one of the featured church planters in 2023 Maguire State Mission Offering resources. The statewide 2023 offering goal of $820,000 is earmarked to help reach the 15.8 million Florida residents who do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, with 100% of all receipts designated to help launch church plants in the state.

SPRING HILL­–Pastor Kidannie Laboy just launched a Spanish-speaking church plant in January in Spring Hill, and he already is making plans to launch a second church plant in the near future.

Iglesia Comunidad Biblica, or Community Bible Church, started with a soft launch in January but had its official launch in March and is continuing to do well. The church meets at 3 p.m. Sundays at First Baptist Church Spring Hill.

The church currently has one community group that meets on Wednesday evenings, but Laboy is planning to soon increase that to three groups. And from one of those groups is where he foresees the next church plant will come.

‘God placed in my heart the desire to plant a church.’

Kidannie Laboy church planter/pastor, Iglesia Comunidad Biblica, Spring Hill

He’s familiar with the process because this church plant also started as a community group from the sending church, Iglesia Bautista Palabra de Vida (Word of Life Baptist Church) in Tampa. Two years ago he interned and received training with Providence Road Church in Miami through the North American Mission Board. Then he trained a core group of members for about six months before launching in January.

Iglesia Comunidad Biblica is one of 74 new Baptist churches planted in Florida this year through the Send Network Florida partnership with NAMB. A 50/50 partnership from NAMB and the Florida Baptist Convention provide funding and support for these new church plants. In Florida, donations to the Maguire State Mission Offering go directly to these churches.

During its soft launch, the church was able to work out issues with the sound system, the software that displays song lyrics and even its order of service. But that is exactly what the soft launch is for, Laboy said, and it helped them prepare for the official launch in March.

When their team began training for the launch, they began looking for locations for their new church plant but were not having a lot of success. That’s when they learned about the invitation from First Baptist of Spring Hill. Laboy said the church had noticed the growing number of Hispanic residents in the area. When they learned about this new Hispanic church plant, they wanted to offer support by hosting it at their location.

“We were very blessed with that,” Laboy said. “This is an amazing friendship that we have started.”

Laboy is originally from Puerto Rico but moved to Florida six years ago to work full-time as a nurse. It was there that he got plugged into Iglesia Bautista Palabra de Vida and soon became one of its Bible study leaders and pastors. When he completed the NAMB church plant training in Miami, he returned to Tampa and was ordained into the ministry. He began serving as a pastor there with a vision for church planting.

“During those two years, God placed in my heart the desire to plant a church,” he said.

He also met his wife, Sara, at the church and the couple have now been married for four years. She works closely with her husband at the church. “She is a big help to us. She helps with everything,” he said.

Jeffery Singletary, catalyst for Florida Baptists’ Central region, said, “Pastor Laboy is doing a great work there in the Spring Hill community. He is well received as he reaches his community, speaking their heart language and meeting their needs.”

Currently members of the church are receiving training on being a leader of a community group by learning to teach the Bible in their own homes.

“We would like to have three community groups, but we need to prepare the leaders for those groups first,” he said. “We are in the process of getting those leaders ready. And then our plan is to eventually start another church plant, to see and invite the neighbors around us. This church started with a small group. That’s how God used this group to start here.”

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