October 8th
11:40 p.m.

Good Morning Summit Family,

I hope you weathered the storm alright. I am thankful that, for the most part, our community and city were not as affected by Hurricane Matthew as initially anticipated. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other parts of Florida and along the coast where homes and business have been greatly affected by the storm. If you find yourself in need, please let us know.

As news continues to unfold about how devastating the hurricane was in the Caribbean, I would ask that you pray for those affected in Haiti and throughout the neighboring islands. If you’re looking for a way to help financially, here are three organizations we know and trust:

  1. World Relief does relief work throughout the world, often mobilizing through local churches. Summit works closely with World Relief in Malawi and we have great confidence in them. World Relief specializes in disaster response and is our top recommendation for donations.
    Learn More > 

  2. Children of the Nations (COTN) is a longtime partner of ours. They work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and though they were not at the epicenter of the hurricane, there are many local families who were impacted and who COTN will be working with to provide basic needs in rebuilding.
    Learn More > 

  3. New Missions is headquartered here in Orlando (they are a frequent niceSERVE partner of ours) and has done church planting and missions in Haiti for decades. Their bases of operations in Haiti suffered no major damage, but they will be working to provide relief.
    Learn More >

Yesterday we had our facilities team inspect all of Summit’s buildings and are thankful to report that there was no major damage. As such, we will have our worship services as planned on Sunday morning. We will have our baptism event outside at the Herndon Campus. At 2:30 p.m. we'll start gathering—with the grill fired up and the usual hot dogs and soda—spend some time eating together until 4 p.m. when our worship service starts, and then at 5 p.m. is when we'll begin the baptism celebration and cheer on all those being baptized. Be sure to bring whatever other snacks you want, a chair or blanket to sit on, and be ready to celebrate with your church family!

I am off to pick up the debris around my house and help my neighbors with theirs. Have a great day, enjoy the weather, and I look forward to worshipping with you this weekend.

John Parker | Lead Pastor




October 6th
12:00 p.m.

Hello Summit Family,

Hurricane Matthew is edging closer, leaving greater certainty that it will dramatically affect coastal conditions and will be significant in Orlando as well. With full trust in God as our protector, I am praying for you, your family, and our community as the storm hits over the next couple days. I would encourage each of us to reach out to our friends and neighbors in the event that there’s anything helpful we can be doing for each other.

Before the storm hits, I want to update you on plans and contingencies for worship services and baptisms.

  • Herndon’s Thursday Service is cancelled for October 6th. If you know of anyone who regularly attends this service, please let them know.

  • The 33rd Street Campus will not be having services on Sunday by order of the jail. Please keep these men and women in your prayers over the weekend, as this is an especially difficult time for them to be away from their families.

  • It is almost certain that the beaches will be too affected to be safely open by the weekend for Beach Baptism. Bethune Park is especially susceptible to closures because the on-access walk tends to get smashed against the seawall in big storms. We are going to move the baptisms to the Herndon Campus on Sunday. We will follow the same schedule as we had for the beach with the event beginning at 2:30 p.m., worship service at 4:00 p.m., and baptisms starting about 5:00 pm.

    We’re planning to have all the hotdogs and festivities that characterize our baptisms at the beach. The weather is scheduled to be sunny and in the mid-80s on Sunday, so we intend to be able to be outside. You’re welcome to bring blankets or chairs to sit on, as well as whatever food and snacks you want. The service will be in the same laid-back-family-style that we usually have at the beach. If this plan changes, we will send a post-storm update on Saturday with new details.

  • Assuming we have power at whichever campus you attend, we will have our Sunday Worship Services as normal. If there are power outages, we will still have gatherings across campuses that will be open to anyone who wishes to come out and be with our church family. In that scenario, we can pray, share needs, and remember that the church is still the church regardless of the weather. If circumstances surrounding Sunday worship services change, we will send new details on what you can expect for on Saturday after the storm has passed.

It’s quite possible that there will be local needs to be addressed in our church family and in our community. We will begin assessing those needs as soon as possible and will keep you up to date on how you can participate in clean-up and other service opportunities.

I’ll be praying for you all during the storm, am grateful to be a part of your church family, and look forward to seeing you this weekend.

—John Parker | Lead Pastor




October 5th
2:00 p.m.

Due to Hurricane Matthew, we are canceling Thursday services for October 6th. If you know of anyone who regularly attends the Thursday service, please help spread the word that the service is cancelled.



October 4th
6 p.m.

Summit Family,

As you likely know, we’re in preparation for Beach Baptism this week. You also know that Hurricane Matthew will likely be a factor in our plans, though it looks like the hurricane itself will be well past us by Sunday.

Depending on how the storm develops, there’s the possibility that Thursday and Sunday church services may be affected in addition to Beach Baptism, and we want to stay in communication as the weekend unfolds with updates, ways you can be praying, and potential relief efforts available.

Right now our plans are to proceed with doing baptisms at Bethune Beach on Sunday afternoon.  

We’ll be updating this page consistently with new information as we know it. Based on current projections, we expect to have updates on Thursday afternoon and Saturday post-storm. Once we’re absolutely certain of which direction we’ll go—whether it be moving forward with Beach Baptism, relocating for Beachless Baptism, or something else entirely—we will make sure you’re looped in.

In the meantime, let’s all be praying for those who are being deeply impacted right now by the storm across the Caribbean. In particular we have friends and ministry partners who work with the poorest and most vulnerable in Haiti and I would ask that you pray for them and those they serve as they deal with the devastation.

—John Parker  |  Lead Pastor