Pastors Tim Gould, Huber Maxwell, Mounuir Soliman leading prayer.
By Carl Stagner
While race, language, culture, and politics are just a few of the things that often keep people apart, at 14400 Northwest Freeway just off US Highway 290 in Houston, Texas, Jesus Christ brings people together under one roof. Houston First Church of God, Houston Primera Iglesia de Dios, and Arabic Christian Church offer weekly ministries separately in English, Spanish, and Arabic, but each of these Church of God congregations come together for different purposes throughout the year. One recent example of such unity took place in early October when the three churches gathered at the table for their annual “International Feast.” Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central, Give Life
Tagged Arabic, Arabic Christian Church, bilingual, community, cross-cultural, culture, David Rivera, Don Bergstrom, eat, eating, Egypt, Egyptian, English, ethnicity, food, Houston, Houston First Church of God, Huber Maxwell, hurricane, International Feast, Jesus Is the Subject, language, languages, Middle-Eastern, Mounuir Soliman, multi-ethnic, multicultural, partnership, potluck, Primera Iglesia de Dios, race, Sarah Mathewes, Spanish, Texas, Tim Gould, translate, translation, TX, unity, WY, Wyoming
Norberto Obermann (right) with wife Claudia, son Pedro.
By Carl Stagner
It all began with a prayer. A big and bold prayer—that God would lead Norberto Obermann to do something so challenging it could not be done alone. That, without God, it would simply be impossible. Born in Argentina, and having pastored there and in Brazil for the better part of three decades, Norberto would soon see what happens when such prayers are offered up in faithful surrender. Through a variety of unfolding events, he and his family would be called to pastor North Modesto Church of God in Modesto, California. The quadrilingual pastor—yes, he can speak four languages!—was a perfect fit for the rapidly evolving demographics of the north-central California city. It all made sense to the church and the Obermanns. But God didn’t answer their prayer in the way they were expecting. Instead, they embarked on an adventure that would last two years. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged adventure, application, Argentina, assimilation, bilingual, bold, Brazil, CA, California, CBH, Christensens, Claudia Obermann, cross-cultural, faith, historic, history in the making, hurdles, immigration, international, Jim Lyon, journey, language, languages, Latin America, Mario Hort, Modesto, multicultural, multilingual, Norberto Obermann, North Modesto Church of God, Northern California, overseas, Paul Dreger, Pedro Obermann, pray, prayer, prayerful, precedent, quadrilingual, risk, South America, The Church of God of Northern California Association, trial, visa, waiting
Photo: Pastor Carlos Lamelas baptizing a believer on Feb. 5.
By Carl Stagner
Pastor Malcolm Tyree described it as a “Super Sunday,” but not because of a certain football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. What happened on Sunday, February 5, at New Vida Church of God in Dallas, Texas, was nothing short of incredible, especially in light of all that had transpired over the past year. Eleven people were baptized, ranging in ages from six to sixty. Wonderful, sure. But not so uncommon. Uncommon was that these individuals represented multiple cultures originating from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba. Such celebration came on the heels of a year of transition which saw the finalization of the merger between a Spanish-speaking and an English-speaking congregation. But for New Vida Church of God—once New Life Fellowship and Iglesia de Dios Vida Abundante—this wasn’t the grand finale. This is just the beginning. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged baptism, baptized, bilingual, Carlos Lamelas, Dallas, diversity, functional unity, Iglesia de Dios, Jesus Is the Subject, language, Malcolm Tyree, merge, merger, multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, New Life Fellowship, New Vida Church of God, ONE, oneness, relational connectivity, Spanish, Texas, united, unity, Vida Abundante