By Stan Friedman
COMPTON, CA (November 25, 2013) — Just three years after purchasing its building, Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos (CHET) is close to paying off its mortgage, and a challenge grant could help put it over the top by the end of the year, President Ed Delgado says.
The Covenant’s Hispanic ministry training center purchased the building in September 2010. It originally was the Jewish Community Center of Compton and then an African American church.
CHET purchased the property for $100,000, but renovations were more than double that amount. “The extensive rehab cost $250,000, but we basically got a completely new building on one lot and a completely rehabbed portable building on the parking lot,” Delgado says.
“Today, we are using it to capacity seven days a week about 12-15 hours a day,” Delgado says. “Our student numbers have grown to 550-600 per term.”
The school needs pledges that total $20,000 by December 31 to pay off the remaining $65,000 of the mortgage and meet the requirements set by a donor who offered matching funds to retire the debt. Donors can make the pledge this year and fulfill it in the early part of 2014, Delgado says.
CHET began as a partnership with North Park University in 1989 and had 25 students. The school had rented space from Primera Iglesia del Pacto in Bell Gardens until the move to Compton.
CHET has planted satellites in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, and La Villa, Texas, as well as additional sites in California. “CHET has blessed students who have ministered in Kenya and India, Central America and South America,” Delgado says. “We have signed international resource sharing agreements with all of our ECC Latino countries.”
CHET graduates also are planting and serving in established Covenant churches, and Delgado stresses the importance of the school for the increasingly multiethnic denomination. “The need for Latino ministers is going to continue growing,” he says.