The bilingual ministry of Faith Baptist Church / Iglesia Bautista la Fe both “celebrated” a special anniversary and “graduated” from missionary status to be a self-supporting local church on Sunday, March 6, 2016. The English aspect of the ministry technically began 75 years ago in Glendale, AZ; however, in 2010, Iglesia Bautista la Fe merged with Faith Baptist Church, thus “connecting two worlds with one gospel.”
This bilingual, bicultural ministry provides services and classes in both English and Spanish on Sunday mornings. The Sunday evening services and Wednesday night prayer meetings are purposely translated from Spanish into English, songs are sung simultaneously in both languages, and prayer requests, prayers and testimonies are shared in both English and Spanish. The teaching ministry for the children and teens is taught in English.
The “celebration / graduation” day included a special bilingual service with several guest speakers. Herb Taylor, the Hispanic Coordinator for Baptist Church Planters, gave the “Challenge to the Church” followed by Bob Sauser, the Western Field Director for Baptist Church Pastors, who shared a “Challenge to the Leaders.” Stephen Little, president of Baptist Church Planters, gave a “Challenge for Future Ministry” to the church family and finally, Pastor Dave De Leon represented Open Door Baptist Church of Woodstock, NY (the sending church of Alberto and Adela Marquez) and challenged the next generation of leaders to carry on the ministry. The service was followed by a fellowship dinner outside on the church property.
Pastor Alberto Marquez and his wife, Adela, have served as missionaries with Baptist Church Planters since 2009. We rejoice that under their leadership, this bilingual ministry has flourished.
Under Baptist Church Planters, a ministry must reach the following goals in order to “graduate” from a mission status church:
1) DOCTRINE: The church knows what it believes.
2) ORGANIZATION: The church is legally organized.
3) LEADERSHIP: The church has biblically qualified leadership of pastor and deacons.
4) LOCATION: The church has a permanent meeting place.
5) SUPPORT: The church can call and support a pastor.
We rejoice that now one of our BCP Hispanic (bilingual) ministries has graduated and continues “connecting two worlds with one gospel.”