The following report is from Heber Ticas, District Pastor of Spanish speaking congregations in Southern California. It concerns the starting of a new church in Los Angeles as a satellite congregation of Comunion De Gracia, the GCI congregation that Heber pastors in San Fernando, CA.
Over the last three months God’s grace has been evident, as we have seen traction in the development of our new satellite church. God has blessed us with a dedicated leadership team that includes the Panamenos and Palacios families. Tony and Becky Panameno are talented musicians, and Enoc and Lourdes Palacios have pastoral experience. Enoc is a great preacher and Lourdes has worked with the Awana children’s ministry program for many years. These two couples have embraced our vision for kingdom expansion through church planting. They have joined with Jose Felipe Escalante and David Chicas (both from my district) in getting acquainted with my congregation and thus acquiring our “spiritual DNA.” Since our focus group in Los Angeles is similar to that of our “mother” church in San Fernando, we hope to replicate the good things that we have done in and through the mother.
Altogether, seven families have committed to the new satellite church: four recruited from outside my congregation and three from within. I have also given the green light to another three families that are attending in San Fernando, but live closer to the new satellite. Overall, we plan to launch with about 50-70 people in attendance (including six families that will be involved for only six months to help give us critical mass).
Our first preview worship service will be held on August 28 and a second one on September 25. On October 23, we plan an official launch with a grand opening service. Two small groups are already up and running in the focus group area, and are bearing fruit. A third one about 10 miles further south includes a family that already commutes to the San Fernando church. Our seven committed families are also in conversation with their unchurched friends and families living within a 15 mile radius.
We continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and ask others to join us in prayer.