Join us for worship Saturdays 6pm and Sundays 9 & 11am

Paul Podraza - Elder

hs-paulResponsibilities: Church Planting Apprentice. I am in training to be a church planter with Converge over this next year. I am also responsible for communications and being the officiant for outside weddings at CCC.

My faith journey: I grew up going to catholic mass until the age of 10, but I became a Christian in 1998 just as I graduated from Ohio University. I worked for awhile as a Media Director in a church in Birmingham, AL until God called me to go to seminary and into pastoring. God then called us in August 2010 to move to Orlando for me to be a part of a church plant, which we closed in January 2012. We are looking forward to what he is going to show us next!

Family: I have an amazing wife Tracy, and we have been married for 13 years. We have a son named Jon who is 9, and is much smarter than I am. We also have a maltipoo named Abby who loves to chase a tennis ball!

Passions for the Kingdom of God: I love to see people understand the gospel and have it transform them more and more into the image of Jesus. There is such freedom in the work that Christ has already done, and it makes life much more fulfilling! I also am passionate about reaching out to the families-in-transition in our area, and want to be a part of tutoring of students in the Osceola County Schools.

Favorite verses: Currently, Isa 43:1-3 is great foundation for me right now.
But now, this is what the Lord says��"
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Like the people of Israel, God will lead us through many tests, trials, and storms, but He is with us all throughout. Being a Christian doesn't mean that God will stop all things that are hard or painful, but it does guarantee he will be faithful to us in every step.

Places I've lived: I was born in New Jersey, but lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and went to undergrad at Ohio University. We lived in Birmingham, AL for 12 years, which I consider my home, and is where I attended Samford University to receive my Masters of Divinity.

In my free time, I love to: Hang out with my family and friends, and sit on my back patio and throw the tennis ball to Abby the wunderdog.

Books I recommend: 

Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges: A great book on grabbing hold of the effects of God's grace. He says: "We are responsible to clothe ourselves with Christlike character, but we are dependent on God's Spirit to produce within us His fruit. We cannot make one inch of progress in sanctification apart from the powerful working of the Spirit in us."

Anything by Francis Chan. We are working through Forgotten God in our Life Group.

The Cross-Centered Life by CJ Mahaney. A short book with a great introduction to living with the gospel as center to everything we do!