St. Pete church connects with community one gallon at a time

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (WFLA) – A good deal jumped out at Amanda Glaziar as she was driving down the street. Glaziar recently moved to St. Petersburg from Naples. “I had just stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and I was passing by and I was like, ‘Dang, $1.68? That’s cheap,’” she said.

“We need all the help we can get,” Glaziar added.

On Wednesday night the Reliance Church of St. Petersburg paid 45 cents of each gallon of gasoline sold at the Exxon station at 34th Street and 9th Avenue North. The promotion ran from 7-9 p.m. and was open to the public.

Pastor Danny Lewis said he wanted the church to find new, creative ways to reach out to the community. The church is only 2 years old. Members used this promotion last year with great success.

This year, Lewis and members of his church were hoping to draw new members to the congregation.

A line of cars stretched down 34th street and snaked in and out of the gas station parking lot. Church volunteers handed out bottles of water, filled gas tanks and washed windshields. “It’s a good deal. That’s why I’m here,” a smiling motorist yelled out.

“Everyone is hurting. Everyone needs a break once and awhile,” Lewis explained. “This is our way of saying, ‘We love you. We want to get to know you and we want to meet you.’”

Pastor Lewis knows a lot of motorists are here for the discounted gas, but he hopes some will take up his offer to come visit the church.

James Isaac is one man who says he’ll do just that. “They’re giving back, and I think this is real nice,” Isaac said. “And I’m actually going to come visit the church Sunday.”

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