By Pat James
There’s a new church in town! First Church of God in Reno, Nevada, had been in existence for nearly seventy-five years. As the demographics in the area of the church at 1201 Yori Avenue began to change, the church could no longer meet the needs of the community. With the help of the Church of God Association of Northern California that also includes parts of Nevada, Eloy and Lupita Velazquez were commissioned to begin a Spanish-speaking Church of God at this location. The couple had been on the staff at Antelope Road Church of God in Citrus Heights, California. Pastor Rhodes Pringle of Antelope Road had observed their ministry and felt that they would be perfect for the new work, now called “The Rock of Reno.”
Realizing that the parsonage on the grounds of the church was uninhabitable without a remodel, the Northern California district set up a fund to be used for renovation. A contractor from the Greeneville Church of God in Greeneville, Tennessee, Raymond Shelton, took on the remodeling project pro bono. Raymond and his wife Dereda drove to Reno in their motorhome with most of the gasoline cost paid by the Greeneville Church of God missions department. With volunteer help of men and women from the Citrus Heights church, and paid contractors from the Reno area, the parsonage was ready for occupancy in one month’s time. The Velazquez family moved from California to Nevada in time for their three children to be enrolled in Reno schools.
Volunteers and wisely-used funds made it possible to finish the project far under budget, which will make repairs and other upgrades to the church building possible. The church is to be fitted with a complete state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, including all the instruments that are needed. The church building will be undergoing more renovations this winter.
Antelope Road Christian Fellowship had a commissioning service for the Velazquez family on September 27. The dedication of the new work was October 24 with more than one hundred in attendance. The afternoon began with an open house fiesta, complete with enchiladas, rice, beans, and lots of fellowship. Following the meal, there was a combined Spanish-English worship service with Pastor Rhodes Pringle and Pastor Reyes Quiroz blessing all with encouraging words. The first Sunday morning service was October 25.
Article contributed by Pat James of Antelope Road Christian Fellowship in Citrus Heights, California.