Tag Archives: Spanish

English + Spanish + Arabic = 3 Congregations Under 1 Roof

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

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-, English-Speaking Churches in Texas Become One

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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

Georgia Church Lives Out its New Name ‘Legacy’

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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

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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

MACU Holds Celebration of Culture, Highlights Hispanic-Latino Community

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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

Growing Hispanic Church Plant Emphasizes ‘Jesus is the Subject’

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By Carl Stagner

Salvation, baptism, healing, spiritual growth, and numerical growth. Pastor Ramon Rivera has witnessed each of these take place at the church plant he and his wife started less than a year ago in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Perhaps that’s why Ministerio de Adoración y Restauración has opted to emphasize Jesus above all else. Jesus is the source of the salvation, baptism, healing, spiritual growth, and numerical growth this Spanish-speaking church has experienced. Jesus is therefore the subject of everything that is said and done, including their church’s website address—a Spanish translation of “Jesus is the Subject.” Continue reading

Indiana Hispanic Church at the Leading Edge of Kingdom Expansion

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By Carl Stagner

Churches of the Concilio Hispano—the Hispanic Council of the Church of God—are some of the fastest-growing, most on-fire-for-the-Lord in our movement today. It’s exciting to see and hear what God is doing among our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters as they seek to reach the Latino population for Jesus Christ. Until you’ve attended one of their services, you may not be able to imagine fully the passion and the power overflowing from their worship, preaching, and prayer. It was no different at the building dedication service for Iglesia de Dios la Hermosa in Anderson, Indiana—the first Hispanic church this century to have their own facility in the state. Continue reading

Spanish-Speaking Church Launched in Reno, Nevada

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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

Multiplicación: Hispanic Council’s Church Planting Explosion

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By Carl Stagner

They’ve overseen the planting of more than one hundred new Spanish-language churches across the United States. In the past few months alone, they’ve planted eight new churches. Twenty years ago, the impact of the Hispanic Council of the Church of God (Concilio Hispano) only touched five states. But now, because of intentional church planting efforts, the Concilio gives God the glory for locations in thirty-eight states. Several factors have contributed to the success of the Concilio’s successful church multiplication efforts. A brief look at a few of these fruit-bearing plants offer some important insights. Continue reading

Breakthroughs at the Border: Spiritual Harvest along the Rio Grande

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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

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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

Key Theology Text Soon Available in Spanish

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Theology for Disciples, an essential textbook by the late Dr. Gilbert W. Stafford, will be released in Spanish this month under the title Teología para Discípulos. The translation was sponsored by the Hispanic Council of the Church of God and the Literature Endowment Fund of Warner Press, Inc. Continue reading

My Global Gathering Story: Pivotal Moments and Providential Connections

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By Duane Parker

My Global Gathering story stretches back almost a year to an important meeting at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. I had made an appointment to visit the seminary to inquire about a rental for our state General Assembly meeting in February 2013. Ken Money took me on a tour of the building and discussed our needs and those of the other regular users of the building and grounds. As I described our organization, he interjected that his assistant was an ordained Church of God Minister from Mexico. He introduced me to a quiet young Hispanic man who did in fact confirm that he was Juan Gonzalez, from Saltillo, Mexico. During that meeting he told me how he had met his wife, the daughter of the vice president of the seminary, married, and moved to Mississippi to complete his master of theology. He was working for the seminary and taking classes at the same time. Continue reading

Concilio Nacional y Global Gathering

10.216-Design Proof 4-Global Gathering Update

Por Jesus Mena

La población hispana en los Estados Unidos excede los cuarenta y cinco millones
formando un mosaico y colorido cultural bien diverso.
Continue reading