GRANT, Mich.—The baptism of a teen who recently professed Christ as Savior was a highlight of Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church’s anniversary Aug. 30.
The congregation, comprising people from many Latin American and Caribbean countries who have moved to the region, celebrated 22 years as a church. Ken Floyd, director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, was privileged to speak at the service. Among those attending were guests from sister churches and surrounding migrant camps.
Several Regular Baptist churches near Grant, Michigan, helped Pastor Isidro “Pepe” Morales begin the church in 1998 by providing financial support, work crews, and prayer.
“We are so grateful that God has brought us to this area where He has opened the doors for the gospel to be preached in migrant camps, in the jail at White Cloud, and often on the radio,” says the Spanish-speaking Pepe, with Assistant Pastor Paul Newton translating. “God provided 12 acres of land and our own building, which has been finished without any debt. We thank all of you who love the Hispanic community and have given so generously.”
Clare Jewell, director of Regular Baptist Builders Club, and Ken Floyd visited with the two pastors last fall while in the area for meetings of Michigan Regular Baptist churches. Ken says that “God continues to greatly bless Grace’s ministry with spiritual fruit.”
The teen’s baptism follows the baptisms earlier this summer of three members from one family whom Pepe had shared the gospel with. And in early August the church held a scaled-down version of Vacation Bible School. VBS is a major outreach for the church, impacting about 100 children and their families each year. Many sister churches assist each year by providing transportation, teaching classes, leading craft time and sports activities, providing prizes, and preparing dinner for the children and their families each night.
Pepe and Paul now want to assist others in church planting. “Right here in the United States you have a missionary field,” Pepe says. “There are a lot of people here who don’t know the Lord.” He encourages people “to have compassion on the lost right here” in America. But planting churches takes teamwork, he points out.
“Pastors, I want to tell you: open your eyes,” Pepe says. “If you have a Hispanic community in your area and you feel God’s call to reach them for Christ, we’re here to help you.
“We want the church here in Grant to be a model that others can follow, where God will raise up humble teams who are willing to give all the glory to God so that more Hispanic churches can be established.”