In 2010, Tampa Bay was ranked the 2nd least religious city in the U.S. among 51 metro areas surveyed. Only residents of Portland, OR pursued religious practice less than those in Tampa Bay. There is little reason to doubt there is a need for missionary engagement in the Tampa Bay area. Simultaneously, there is increasing international diversity represented both in multiethnic neighborhoods as well as areas with clear concentrations of ethnic groups such as Colombians or Arabs. Once a gateway city for Cubans and other migrants, Migration Policy Institute has identified Tampa as a re-emerging gateway city for immigrants arriving to the U.S. In addition, University of South Florida (USF) continues to attract international students to its campus in Northeast Tampa.
Developing GCMI in Tampa
In 2016, GCMI Executive Director Jared Looney relocated with his family to the Tampa Bay metro area to establish a new hub of GCMI's missionary work. Jared has begun seeking inroads for evangelistic initiatives in Tampa and is in the process of forming partnerships with other disciple-making organizations in the Tampa-Orlando area. GCMI desires to add a small team for catalyzing disciple-making in Tampa Bay, as it continues to emerge as a significant gateway city for U.S. immigration and cultural diversity. For those who may be interested in serving as disciple-making catalysts in Tampa Bay, contact GCMI for more details.