Gulf Central District Cultivator
Justin LaRosa is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, a licensed clinical social worker, enneagram practitioner, author, and leader of change. Justin has been at Hyde Park United Methodist since 2005. He currently serves as the minister of downtown spiritual community and director of The Portico. He was sent with a small group to launch an innovative new initiative in the oldest church in downtown Tampa, which became The Portico. The Portico includes a social enterprise (Portico Cafe), a historic chapel, spaces to meet and work, and an event space for the public. The Portico is one large fresh expression. He is one of the founders of The Portico Housing Solutions, Inc. that bridges men from homelessness to transformation through safe housing, mentoring, and Christ-based spiritual support. Prior to Hyde Park, he worked for the Child Abuse Council, Inc. and launched two programs: A Supervised Visitation Center and the Fathers' Resource and Networking Center.
Justin has a certificate from Asbury Theological Seminary, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of South Florida, and studied hotel, restaurant and institutional management at Pennsylvania State University. He authored the Jesus Challenge: 21 Days of Loving God and Neighbor; and co-authored three books, A Disciple’s Path, A Disciple’s Heart, and SENT: Delivering the Gift of Hope at Christmas. He and his wife Caroline have a daughter, Bella, a son, Russell, and an amazing dog, Karl.