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As an Administrator at Lake Mary High School, I had seen my fair share of organizations that visit the school looking to rent the facility. When the Summit leadership team approached LMHS to walk through the auditorium on their initial visit 3.5 years ago, I viewed it as another business deal, not one that would soon change the landscape for my family and me. Opening the doors to Summit as an LMHS Administrator in the fall of 2012 was a day to remember—one that led me to meet such wonderful people like our Family Ministries Director, Tracy Beeson, and Mobilization Pastor (now Herndon Campus Pastor), Garry Abbott. It was their personable natures and Tracy’s interactions with my kids on the Volunteer Training Day that convinced my wife, Meredith, and me to give Summit at try. We rode the wave of excitement as we saw that we had found a church where our children constantly learned about and interacted with the teachings of God on a regular basis—something that had been missing in our previous church experiences. After many weeks, we took the plunge and dove in to Summit’s community involvement opportunities. Meredith began to volunteer with the worship team and we participated in niceSERVE, joined a Connect group, and attended services regularly.

While I initially had interest in doing more with the church, I held back as I continued to serve in my administrative role with the high school. After all, who would make the official call to O.J. when the fire extinguisher was sprayed in the auditorium? Or when the “Great Flood of 2014” caused services to move to the REF Room and Cafeteria for a few months? When Summit announced that we were moving from the high school to a new, permanent facility, I knew this was my opportunity to get more involved. God was calling me to do more within our church community and I could now draw a clear line between working and worshiping.

As the time to move into the new building approached, the level of excitement in our home grew. When volunteers were called on to help out, we jumped at the opportunity: we painted walls, moved chairs back and forth (and back and forth again!), moved office furniture, and put together IKEA furniture (that was a blast). My kids also helped by painting walls, unpacking toys, setting up carpets and furniture, and preparing Base Camp for the first service. What a reward it was to involve my kids and to know they were able to leave a handprint on the future of their church!

After having sat through two services in the new space and reflecting back to the past few months of volunteering and the past three years of worshiping with this church, I can’t even imagine what life would be like without Summit Church. Thank you to the leadership team for all you have done to bring the church to Lake Mary and for all who have brought this place to life. The wave of excitement we’ve ridden on has been incredible, and I’m looking forward to the grand opening of the new Summit Lake Mary campus on August 16th!

Guest blogger, Mike Rice, is an assistant principal at Seminole High School. He and his wife, Meredith, have attended Summit for 3 years. When he's not at work, Mike can be found playing golf and spending time with his family.