Hispanic church sees great attendance at conferences, seminary has 25 new Hispanic students and Luis Palau heads to Maryland for annual meeting
By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—God is moving mightily in Hispanic churches in Maryland and Delaware.
A small plant in Milford, Del., hosted three conferences over the past year drawing hundreds of people from across denominational lines; the “Centro de Entrenamiento Ministerial” (Ministry Training Center or Hispanic Seminary) has 25 new students meeting in two locations, and internationally known evangelist Luis Palau, Founder and president of Luis Palau Association, will meet with Hispanic leaders before and during the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D).
Iglesia Bautista Faro de Gracia, not quite two years old, in an effort to build relationships and to encourage evangelism in their community, offered three major events this year, for free, and with food, to local churches, even crossing denominational lines.
Their evangelism workshop in February drew 100 people from several states. A women’s conference in October brought 124 participants and earlier this month, 58 people attended a preaching workshop. Each was a full day of worship, teaching and breakout workshops.
“We’re a church plant that started in 2015. We began with a small core group, and we’ve been growing steadily. We now average about 30 to 35 on Sundays. Part of our vision is to reach out to other local churches,” said Pastor Jorge Altieri.
Altieri said that though there are nearly 40 other churches, mostly charismatic and Pentecostal near Iglesia Bautista Faro de Gracia, there have not been any attempts for gathering together for encouragement and education.
At the three recent conferences, Altieri said leaders avoided doctrinal issues. “These aren’t denominational events,” he said. The purpose is to equip believers to share the Gospel. “We’re providing material and information they can take and use and that’s our goal,” he said.
The response has been great, Altieri said. “There are many challenges to the Hispanic community that affect more than just SBC churches. They see the value of the material we are providing,”
The church plans to offer three more events in 2017 and they’re looking forward to seeing how God will continue to move, bless, and use them for His glory.
Another great movement of God working in the Hispanic community is in the Centro de Entrenamiento Ministerial (Ministry Training Center or Hispanic Seminary). This year, 25 new students registered and they’re meeting in two locations: Denton and Baltimore.
BCM/D Church Planting Catalyst Rolando Castro said, “Both groups are from two of our Hispanic church plants: Iglesia Bautista de Greensboro (Pastor Daniel Santillan) and Iglesia Misional Patterson Park (Pastor William Medina). This is fabulous!”
In addition, the seminary sponsored a youth leader’s workshop, led by David Mangieri at the Baptist Center earlier in November and 20 people participated.
The momentum continues to build as Argentine born international Christian evangelist Luis Palau, called by many a “Latino Billy Graham,” comes to Maryland to participate in the BCM/D’s annual meeting, Nov. 13-15, at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel in Towson.
Prior to the meeting, Palau will be the guest speaker at a special worship service starting at 2 pm on Nov. 13 at the Southern Asia Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2001 East Randolph Road, Silver Spring. Hispanic Baptist churches, led by Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Maryland, are organizing the special service.
Palau will be a speaker at the BCM/D annual meeting preaching at 7 pm on Monday, Nov. 14. He’ll also be speaking at a Hispanic Pastors’ dinner at 3:30 pm on Monday.
For more information about Hispanic churches in Maryland/Delaware, and how you can support Hispanic churches, contact Rolando Castro.