Tag Archives: Hispanic

Hispanic Church Coming Soon to West Side of Indianapolis

By Tom Planck and Israel Munguia

The story of the community surrounding Westlake Church of God on the west side of Indianapolis, Indiana, is familiar to many churches across the state. The culture has vastly changed over the past several years. A once mostly Caucasian community has now shifted to include a large population of African American and Hispanic people. Continue reading

Spanish-, English-Speaking Congregations Unite at Altar

Pastor Karen Kier speaks at Altar’s name-change celebration.

By Carl Stagner

Over time, a model of planting Spanish-speaking churches has emerged. Often English-speaking congregations are drawn to the prospect of partnering with a Spanish-speaking church as a missional means to touch a demographic otherwise beyond their reach. In doing so, the Spanish-speaking church uses the building owned by the English-speaking church to conduct worship services. When the Spanish-speaking church gains traction and becomes self-sustaining, they may then choose to purchase their own facility. At that point, the relationship between the two churches can somewhat cease to exist, though it may never have truly materialized in the first place. Tampa, Florida’s English-speaking Oak Grove Church of God and the Spanish-speaking Arbol de Vida have decided to do things differently. Reflecting their heart’s desire to be one church with two cultures, they’ve united at (the) Altar. Continue reading

Spanish-Speaking Church Planted in Florida on Easter Sunday

Pastor Isaias Marquez speaks at the launch service on Easter.

By Carl Stagner

Now, more than ever, the Sunshine State is primed for the gospel. The normal flow of migration to Florida from Spanish-speaking countries presents a tremendous opportunity for Hispanic church planters. But, in the wake of last year’s hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico, Spanish-speaking people have left the territory for Florida in droves. Isaias and Laura Marquez, pastors of a congregation in Lake Wales, are always on the lookout for possible church plants. Observing the lack of Hispanic churches in the Winter Haven area, they reached out to First Church of God to consider hosting a new work. On Easter Sunday, Iglesia de Dios in Winter Haven was born, offering the hope of Christ to Spanish-speaking residents while extending the reach of First Church beyond what they could have ever imagined. Continue reading

Reclaiming Life, Kingdom Territory in Central California

By Carl Stagner

Like the dawning of a brand-new day, the Holy Spirit is breathing new life into the Church of God in central California. Over the past five months, several structural and functional changes have been received warmly by a family of congregations seeking direction and revival. Under the leadership of their new regional pastor, Michael Guzman, the Central California Association of the Church of God has since developed strategies to increase efficiency, maximize potential, and take back what hell has stolen. The gates of hell have no doubt begun to shake, as these strategies are already beginning to bear fruit. Continue reading

Georgia Church Lives Out its New Name ‘Legacy’

legacychuch_canton_ga_worship_forweb

Photo: Worship at Legacy Church-Canton.

By Carl Stagner

Town Center Community Church in Marietta, Georgia, has been an influential church in its community for many years, but its new name reflects God’s vision for the congregation today. Not only are they intentionally targeting the family unit as the primary conduit of faith to the next generation, they’re also making investments beyond their own neighborhood to reach even more people for Christ. The seeds Legacy Church-Marietta is planting twenty-six miles to the north of their original location have already begun to blossom and bear fruit. Legacy Church-Canton now exists as a satellite location which, after just one-and-a-half years, has exploded in growth from 66 to 140 in attendance. Continue reading

Cultural Differences Eclipsed by Christmas

heriberto_mejia_and_kathi_sellers_forweb

Photo: Pastor Mejia, with Kathi Sellers translating.

By Carl Stagner

One church worships in Spanish. The other, English. The two churches are just a few miles apart in the same city, and both lift up the name of Jesus Christ. But these two Church of God congregations weren’t even acquainted with one another. Often the holidays are associated with family scuffles and awkward dinner conversations that lead to division. When Christ is at the center, however—when Jesus is the subject—Christmas has a way of bringing believers together. Just before Christmas, Iglesia de Dios La Hermosa and Main Street Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, united in a special worship service open to the community. Continue reading

There’s a Song in the Air Over Albuquerque

albuquerque_newbeginnings_caroling_forweb

Photo: New Beginnings carolers bring guitars and other instruments.

By Carl Stagner

You don’t have to be in the Church of God very long to know we’re a singing church. We always have been. New Beginnings Church of God in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is just one example of that. The song in the air over Albuquerque today is simply a natural overflow of the song of salvation which God placed in the hearts of the believers at the thriving church situated at the base of the rugged Sandia Mountains. Their recent Christmas caroling outreach in one of the most socioeconomically challenged areas of the city is only one of numerous reasons more and more people are joining in the heavenly refrain. Continue reading

MACU Holds Celebration of Culture, Highlights Hispanic-Latino Community

macu_cultural_celebration2016_culturalgarb_forweb

Photo: Cultural attire enhanced the celebration.

By Whitney Knight

Last weekend, Mid-America Christian University held its semi-annual Celebration of Culture event, highlighting Latino-Hispanic heritage with a weekend of festivities and service projects. Beginning at 10 AM on October 7, students and community members were addressed in the university chapel by local leaders like Josue Chavez of the Oklahoma City Family Church and Rev. Mark Inscoe, a teacher from Capitol Hill High School. After chapel services concluded around 11:30 AM, an inspired Latino-Hispanic lunch highlighted with traditional fare such as quesadillas, enchiladas, tres leches cake and Mexican street corn. Traditional dancers provided entertainment. Continue reading

From Prison to the Pulpit of a Growing Multicultural Church

First_CHOG_Congregation_Aurora_IL_FORWEB

Photo: Aurora First Church of God

By Carl Stagner

For a number of years, it appeared hell had laid claim to Manny Rivera’s life. But this man, created in the image of God, was reclaimed by Jesus Christ in 2006. Since then, God has increased the spiritual responsibility of this ex-con and former alcoholic. In addition to broken addictions and miraculous healings, the church he now pastors in Aurora, Illinois, has seen more than thirty people saved since Manny stepped up to the pulpit about a year-and-a-half ago. God is using this Church of God pastor in some incredible ways—ways that would have never come to pass had the bullet meant for his life actually taken it. Continue reading

Spanish-Speaking Church Launched in Reno, Nevada

Reno_church_worship_FORWEB

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.” Continue reading

Breakthroughs at the Border: Spiritual Harvest along the Rio Grande

Abner Rodriguez_ribbon_cutting_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, God throws you a curve ball. For nine years, Abner Rodriguez and his wife had been praying for a house. After only two months to settle into their new home, God revealed his plan to send the family to Del Rio, Texas, to plant a church. It would be Abner’s first church plant in the United States, though for a decade he’d been a highly successfully church planter and pastor of some two thousand people spread out among twenty sites in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras. An inflatable bed hasn’t been the most comfortable sleeping arrangement, and the added commute between churches has been far from pleasant. Nevertheless, the blessing of being on the frontier of revival among our Hispanic brothers and sisters has been worth every mile and trial. Continue reading

Slow, but Steady Growth for This Spanish-Speaking Congregation

Loida_and_Adolfo_Zenteno_adj_FORWEB

Photo: Adolfo Zenteno (right), pastor in Shreveport, Louisiana, with wife Loida (left).

By Carl Stagner

Oakmont Church of God has a rich heritage of international missions work. The Shreveport, Louisiana, congregation enjoys a long history of not only supporting several Church of God missionaries but also putting boots on the ground in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. When it seemed that fervor for missions to Spanish-speaking countries was at an all-time high for the congregation, God revealed a plan he’d been working on all along. Some 1,200 miles to the northeast, God was raising up a leader to reach the fastest-growing segment of the population. Continue reading

Canadian Congregation’s Spanish Ministry Transforms Culture

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

By Carl Stagner

Souls saved, divine healings, increased attendance, growing diversity, beautiful unity, and a powerful moving of the Holy Spirit are all signs that God is doing a miraculous work at Pleasant Valley Church of God in Vernon, British Columbia. Last year, the leadership at Pleasant Valley recognized and accepted God’s call on their congregation to begin a ministry to the more than one thousand Spanish-speaking residents and nearly one thousand additional Spanish-speaking migrant workers in the area. One year later, as the ministry is about to begin its busy season, Pleasant Valley Church of God is celebrating what the Lord has accomplished through his people. Continue reading

From the Ball Field to the Field of Souls

Carlos_Sanchez_profile_picture

By Carl Stagner

When life throws you a curve ball, what do you do? How do you respond? For Rev. Carlos Sanchez, it was the biggest curve ball of his life, but it was one he was overjoyed to receive. Once a baseball player in the minor leagues, this curve ball didn’t strike him out—it struck him into the kingdom of God. Continue reading