Rev Michael Avato

Senior Pastor

After attending Florida International University, Mike worked in Construction Management and as a youth volunteer for several years with the hope of entering full-time ministry.  Mike and his wife, Susan, met while serving in youth ministry together in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and married in 1990. Shortly after this he pursued theological education, attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he grew a passion for church planting. Mike received his D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry) degree from RTS Orlando in 2016.

The roots of this church began when Mike and Susan started inviting people to Bible study in their living room.  During that time Mike worked bi-vocationally as a pastor; a counselor to those in recovery; and a licensed Certified General Contractor of his own company.  He later became an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC).

As Senior Pastor of Risen City Presbyterian Church, Mike’s primary goal is seeing lives change through the transforming power of the gospel.   He seeks to do this by authenticity in his preaching and discipleship ministry.  Consequently, the staff and church is led to promote a safe place to check out the claims of Christ, especially for those far from God.  To this end, he leads a RISEN PEOPLE MAKING DISCIPLES IN CHRIST TOGETHER. 

Mike and Susan live in St. Pete Beach and take great joy in homeschooling and raising their sons, Luciano and Nathanael.  They also enjoy the people, the beach, outdoor activities, playing guitar, reading and building things.

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