It has been a privilege to be able to dedicate our lives to our God and the Lord Jesus Christ’s mandate with the idea of evangelizing during the past 25 years. For the last nine years I’ve been a missionary working as a church planter planting a church for people of my same culture in a different culture. This desire was born when I saw how few Hispanic pastors and fundamental churches there are who will tell Biblical truth to Hispanics – the greatest minority in the United States.
When we came to Waterloo, Iowa we were originally planning to train and prepare missionaries for foreign missions. Then we noticed the amount of Hispanics without a local church, approximately 200 in this area (Tyson Food Co. has a large plant in town with a workforce that is 30% Hispanic). Immediately our hearts became burdened to see a church established amongst the Hispanics; thus we began the project to plant Hispanic Baptist Church here in Waterloo. To start our first contact with the Hispanic community we launched a series of conferences by the name of “Families in Crisis” every Wednesday. For this we rented a room at the Waterloo Public Library. This is where the hearts started to burn in each of the families that attended, they identified themselves with the subject we chose. They were so motivated to learn biblical truth that they wanted more conferences and more teachings. This caused us to see a need to move to a much larger area. That is when Burton Avenue Baptist Church opened their doors and their hearts to us and supported our Spanish ministry. The pastor had a heart to reach other cultures in his own church. During this time, we continued Biblical studies every Wednesday while the children participated in Awana clubs. Very soon we started Sunday morning services. Immediately, we began discipling those who had repented and been saved. We saw lives change! We married people that had lived together freely before we baptized them. We also gave the families orientation on how to legalize their documents, opening a way for the undocumented workers to put things in order.
While my wife taught the Hispanic ladies on how to find, know, and please God; she also learned how to drive an automobile and received her driver’s license. During this time, I was working on the church’s structure. We put in place the church’s first deacons. We wrote the church’s constitution and by-laws. Later, we worked on the Articles of Incorporation with the help of a Lawyer and we received our Certificate of Recognition on Oct. 23, 2003.
As soon as we got our legal number, an opportunity came to acquire our own building. With the help and support of Pastor Richard Vanhueklem and Walnut Ridge Baptist Church along with other local pastors, we were able to buy a building with a seating capacity of 100 people. Later, we joined the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches being accepted as a member in their annual conference of 2004. Thus far, this project has taken seven years. Now we continue on with the work. We began Sunday school classes, Awanas, men’s and ladies’ ministries, and are now praying for our next pastor.
We praise the Lord for the help of churches such as Burton Ave. Baptist Church who has been a big moral and spiritual influence. They adopted us and provided all the needs we had relating to their facility and our accommodations through each stage. We would not currently have our own building if it were not for Walnut Ridge Baptist Church and the other churches that support us. Several have come together and had a vital part in establishing Hispanic Baptist Church. Our ministry is a living testimony of how God can use a variety of like-minded churches to do His work amongst Hispanics.
Author: Miguel and Ana Maria Quintana graduated from Baptist Church Planter’s candidate school in 2000 and sought to establish the Hispanic Baptist Church in Waterloo. They are now seeking to plant a Spanish church in Seminole, Florida.