Hispanic Church Plant Coming to Evansville!
Late last year we were approached by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to consider sponsoring a Hispanic Church Plant in Evansville. We met with the church planter and his family, and they have since visited Oakhill on two occasions. We spent the past few months praying and working out the details with the church planter and are excited to announce that Oakhill Baptist Church will be sponsoring a Hispanic church plant later this year!
Alfonso Soto, the church planter, will begin working in the area starting in June. He will work to establish connections within the Hispanic community for the first couple of months. Alfonso and his family are currently located in the Jasper/Huntingburg area where they are a part of a SBC Hispanic church. Alfonso has been instrumental in starting home groups and assisting the Pastor. He has a desire to see a Hispanic church plant come to the Evansville area. This will be a church where worship, preaching, and fellowship will primarily be done in Spanish. Alfonso is looking to start a home group by August that will eventually result in a church plant.
Oakhill will be the home base of operation for Alfonso. While NAMB will be paying his salary, Oakhill will be paying a small monthly stipend to help with expenses, as well as helping with some ministry costs. Alfonso will also be learning from our staff and applying those things within the context of the church plant. We are making a three year commitment to this church plant, contingent on an annual review. NAMB also has their own goals and standards that the church plant must meet.
We believe that Alfonso will have no problem engaging the Hispanic community in Evansville and starting a home group by August, however, he needs our help. You might say, “How can I help? I don’t speak Spanish”. There are lots of ways that you can help even if you don’t speak Spanish.
- Pray – This is a big undertaking for the Soto family. They are moving their family from Jasper to Evansville. They need to make connections quickly and find some people willing to help start this church. Church planters and the actual plant need lots of prayer.
- Include – Include the Soto family as you would any other church member or staff person. They literally do not know anyone from this area. Oakhill will be their church home while they get things going with the plant. We need to befriend them and work to include them in our church family. I know you will make Alfonso, Wendy and their children feel right at home.
- Connect – If you know of anyone in our community that might benefit from this church plant, please submit their name to me or Alfonso. He will be making cold calls and connecting with people for the first couple of months. Again, he doesn’t know anyone yet, so he is relying on us to help him identify Hispanics in our area.
- Volunteer – We will have connection events like block parties and other activities that you can be a part of. Even if you don’t speak Spanish you can help by volunteering at these events. Look for info to come later in the year on these events.
We will be building a team to assist with the church plant soon. If you do speak Spanish and want to be involved, then we can definitely use you. Even if you don’t speak Spanish but still have a passion for this ministry you can help. Please contact me ASAP at the church office if you are interested in an ongoing volunteer capacity.