The Tuscaloosa Hispanic Church is located in a city characterized by the University of Alabama and the lifestyle that the school brings. The greatest pride of Tuscaloosa is their football team, which boasts the fifth largest football stadium in the United States, and the eighth largest in the world. Beyond college football, Tuscaloosa also has a Hispanic community that exceeds 1,500 people, with more than 60 Hispanic businesses, and more than 15 Hispanic churches of different denominations. Other cities in Tuscaloosa County include Coaling, Coker, Northport, Moundville, and Cottondale.
In October 2015, Rammy Robles Guerrero, pastor, after serving at the IASD (Iglesia Adventista del Septimo Dia) Forest Hispanic as a missionary student, was invited by Huascar Rodriguez, pastor of the Meridian district at the time, to become a missionary pastor in the Tuscaloosa Hispanic Church. Guerrero came with the purpose of developing a strategic plan for discipleship, training the church in the major areas of evangelistic and structural support, and instructing and motivating the brothers to carry out natural evangelism in the church. As a result of this plan, 10 small groups were planted that spanned three different counties: Pickens, Tuscaloosa, and Brent. These small groups also led to 11 people giving their lives to God through baptism.
By 2016, the church decided to continue with a new mission plan, this time for a year. They requested that the Gulf States Conference would assign Guerrero as a Bible worker/pastor for the Tuscaloosa Church under the supervision of Rodriguez. The plan was approved, and beginning in October 2016, the Conference, in combination with the Tuscaloosa Church, supported the pastor to develop as a Bible worker in the church.
From January to October 2016, Guerrero worked as a volunteer pastor because of the process of changing his immigration status. During that time, he began to develop a community mission plan, which was to meet the needs of church members and non-church members. Combined with Bible studies, missionary visits, and the glory of God, 31 more people were added to the church by baptism and profession of faith. Beautiful things were happening; in a single week, three marriages were performed, two of which were conducted in the church. Additionally, of the 31 people that were added to the church from January to October, 24 were in the same week as the marriages.
From October to December of the same year, the plan didn’t stop, and the same methodology continued. The church grew, and they decided to start a new plant in Coker, Alabama, a city where a small group had been started when Guerrero arrived. Soon it was officially recognized as a church group, with 25 to 30 people meeting every Sabbath.
During that time two more marriages were performed, and in December they concluded with 13 new members joining through baptism and profession of faith. Furthermore, the international missionary plan, “RD 2017,” arose after several conferences and weeks of stewardship that were given in the church. This plan even encouraged friends who weren’t members of the church to donate resources to help a family with children that were affected by the massive floods in the northern part of the Dominican Republic.
By 2017, after completing a year dedicated to missionary work in the church and having formed a substantial membership, Guerrero initiated a new missionary plan called Young Impact and Total Member Involvement. These plans focus on including all the membership, especially the young people, in capturing the attention of the Hispanic community of Tuscaloosa through different activities. Currently they are developing the Community Center for Hispanics; it is a program that has more than 45 friends in the community, 30 of which do not belong to any religion, and the other 15 belonging to various religious denominations. The Community Center aims to educate the Hispanic population about basic skills they should possess. Coordinating with the superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, they provide computer classes, family education, financial education, management classes, English classes, and, most importantly, religious classes.
The center also includes immigration-oriented programs, and the development of the Mexican mobile consulate to motivate Hispanics to obtain and renew their documents.
The Tuscaloosa Hispanic Church is now making arrangements to officially register the new group that has been planted in Gordo, Alabama, as a result of the entire evangelistic community service program. Today the two churches continue to develop and grow with the same methodology of sincere work.
Following the success of the work in this area, Guerrero has now been transferred to lead the Dothan, Auburn, and Opelika district, where he plans to continue the same method of natural evangelism.
Gulf States | October 2017