TIJUANA, MEXICO (October 2, 2012) – Historic meetings among Hispanic pastors whose churches are situated on either side of the border between California and Mexico offer promise for expanded and stronger ministry.
The first meeting was held in August and a second is planned for October 13.
All of the churches on the Mexican side of the border do not have official ties with the Covenant Church of Mexico, but they do have relationships with either the Mexico Church or the Evangelical Covenant Church. The non-Covenant churches attending have shown an interest in getting to know more about the larger bodies by studying Covenant Affirmations, which the Confraternity of Ibero-American Churches (CIPE) has published in Spanish.
“Hispanic Covenant churches in the border areas of California and Texas have been active in helping to start churches inside Mexico and especially in the border areas of Mexico,” said Nancy Reed, retired Covenant missionary who still is involved in international Hispanic ministries.
“It is (all about) their language, their culture, their passion for preaching the gospel and seeing new churches planted in Mexico and finding out where and how they can help these new churches,” Reed said.
The August meeting was an encouragement to everyone as they experienced being part of a much larger ministry, Reed said. Some of the discussion focused on possibly forming a Mexican District in the border area.
Roberto Ghione from the Simi Valley Church has assisted many of the Mexican churches represented at the meeting and coordinated the gathering. Gamaliel Adame, the president of the Covenant Church of Mexico (IEMP), co-led the meeting.
In addition to Ghione, participants from California were Pastor Jesús and Nancy Pérez from Del Pacto Covenant Church, which meets at Clairemont Covenant Church in San Diego; and Pastor Jorge and Perla García from Gracia y Paz Covenant Church in Chula Vista.
Participants from Mexico included:
- David Rocha, who pastors a church in Los Pinos, next to Tijuana, which has birthed a daughter church in San Quintín, located about five hours away.
- Covenant minister Francisco Toledo, who pastors Trigo Limpio Church in San Luis Rio Colorado. The church of some 200 people has begun the process to join the Mexico Covenant Church and has planted another congregation of about 60 people.
- Pastor Misael de la Cruz, who has started two congregations, one of which began with a ministry to children in Rosarito.
- Pastor Cornelio Cervantes and his wife, Nancy, who are working with a new church plant in Tecate. They had their first baptisms in August when seven people were baptized.
Additional churches already have shown interest in attending the October meeting, Reed said.