2020 brings a new decade and a brand new hope to Florida’ssouthwest coast. Through a collaborative vision, the Campus View Church in Gainesville and the Southwest Florida Church ofChrist in Naples/Ft. Myers is kicking off a campus ministry planting in January 2020.

Matt Newburg, the evangelist for the 100-member Southwest Florida Church of Christ, is grateful for the partnership with Campus View. Matt focuses on the Youth and Family ministry, which has a large number of children – 60 to be exact! The Ministry In Training (MIT) Program at the University of Florida focuses on equipping young ministers to lead or plant campus ministries in the state. “It’s unique,” said Matt, referring to the involvement of the campus View ministers. “Jarrod and Stacey (Robinson) came over from Gainesville and checked out our campus. Jarrod and Kyle (Eastman) will be very involved in guiding our campus activities and outreach.” Nick Smalter, who moved to Gainesvillespecifically to be trained in the MIT program, will receive ongoing support and training from Kyle, who oversees the Alpha Omega Campus Ministry at UF. For now, their team includes two full-time students who came with Nick from Gainesville, plus several disciples from the southwest Church who are part-time students. Together they will build a ministry at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State University.

“Our church has wanted this for quite a while. And our families are eager to open up their homes to our newly-arrived campus students. The great thing is that Nick understands that a part of his purpose here is to raise up a next-generation of college students from the many middle schools and high school students in our church family,” said Matt.

There are lots of reasons to believe that the time is right for this new campus ministry. Naples/Ft. Myers area is one of the top five fastest growing areas in theU.S. The campus is beautiful – some dorms overlook the beach! But for Nick, his mission is clear and the call to “go anywhere, do anything and give up everything” for the gospel resonates in his soul. Contact him if you want to know more about changing the world in southwest Florida!

Nick Smalter: smalter1994@gmail.com or text at 716-536-4492.