Twelve Church opens to serve West Pasco

Twelve Church opens to serve West Pasco

By Sarah Whitman

Wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, Pastor David Rotteveel stepped onto the Wendell Krinn Technical High School auditorium stage in New Port Richey March 1.

Photo courtesy of Twelve Church

Rotteveel stood ready to realize a calling God placed on his heart more than a decade ago.

The words ‘Welcome Home’ appeared behind him on a television screen.

More than 500 people listened as Rotteveel spoke at the opening of Twelve Church, a non-denominational start-up named both for the church’s 12-point mission and the number of communities within a 25-mile radius of New Port Richey.

Rotteveel, who grew up in Hudson and Port Richey, planted the church in its exact location with a distinct vision.

“Our prayer is that, because of Twelve Church, West Pasco will never look the same,” he said.

I spoke to Rotteveel, who previously spent three years as a student pastor at New Walk Church in Zephyrhills, about his road to opening a church in the community he calls home. 

Q: What led you to become a pastor? Did you have a career before ministry or did you always know this is what you wanted to do?

A: I came to know Christ at 17-years-old and as soon as Jesus got a hold of me, I felt Him calling me to serve His church. 

Q: Did you always know it would be here, back where it all started?

A: I went to Oklahoma for college to play football but I always considered West Pasco home. I felt a desperate burden to serve the local church and I always believed, in whatever capacity, God would allow me to plant here. 

That’s why this opening was such a special day. My family is here. I met my wife, Stephanie, in first grade at Fox Hollow Elementary. We went to Bayonet Middle School together. 

Knowing our love for this area, combined with our love for the Gospel, there was no question where God was calling us to be.

Q: You came from New Walk Church, and they’ve been supportive of your start-up. Other churches, like Relevant in Georgia, have as well. Are you affiliated with them directly?

A: We have a great support system but Twelve is an independent brand new church. In my time at New Walk I was able to learn more about church planting from the senior pastor there, Gary Baldus. Relevant and Twelve Church are part of the Creative Church Planting Network, which is a brotherhood of pastors offering one another support. 

Q: What can people visiting Twelve expect? How would you describe the church’s style and approach?

A: It’s a very modern approach. We utilize all forms of technology and creativity we can. We want to be forward thinking. West Pasco is a very diverse community and we want the church to reflect that. 

At our opening we had people there in their 70s and people in their 20s, people in dresses and people in shorts with flip-flops. We say come as you are. We want people to feel free to worship as they are. 

Q: At age 28, you are a young pastor. Do you think age impacts your ability to attract a younger demographic to church?

A: Whether it’s a good thing or not, that depends on who you ask. In the Bible, Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because he is young. I think it is a positive. 

I am married with young children, so I understand what that life is like. I’m a millennial and I’m not far removed from Generation Z. I understand communicating through technology.

I understand there are questions young people are asking in the church that no one seems to be answering. I’m hoping our church can step into that space and reach the younger generation.

That said, whether you are 75 or 19, the message is the same. Jesus died on the cross and it is by faith in Him we are saved and brought into a relationship with God. 

Q: How old are your children? Do you offer children’s ministries at Twelve?

A: Our daughter is seven and our son is 4, so we are right in that stage. When we have our main services, the youth have services in their classrooms with the same theme for their age groups and it’s guaranteed to be the greatest hour of a kid’s week. 

Q: What led you to open at Wendell Tech?

A: It’s common for church plants to start at a school. We have a great partnership with Wendell Krinn Tech. We’ve been able to make some improvements to their campus by doing things like painting and the rent we pay goes to financially investing the school, which is another way of supporting the community. We love and appreciate being there. 

Q: What do you want people to know about Twelve Church?

A: Twelve Church isn’t just about our individual church. We want to partner with other organizations and churches to serve West Pasco. We want to see every church in West Pasco grow. We want to be a part of something greater.

Q: The name Twelve was inspired in part by the areas you hope to reach. Can you name the 12 communities?

A: New Port Richey. Port Richey. Hudson. Land O’ Lakes. Trinity. Odessa. Jasmine Lakes. Bayonet Point. Shady Hills. Holiday. Tarpon Springs. Elfers.

Twelve Church invites all to services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays. For more information, visit 

Photo courtesy of Twelve Church