‘We are bringing together three churches,’ says an elder of the English-speaking host church.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
ARLINGTON, Texas – A Latino grocery store called Supermercado El Rancho (“The Ranch Supermarket”) anchors the shopping center across the street from the Hillcrest Church of Christ.
Those with dirty clothes can’t miss the nearby lavandería (“laundromat”).
Five years ago, Arlington’s burgeoning Hispanic population inspired Great Cities Missions — best known for training and recruiting missionaries for Latin America — to plant a Spanish-speaking congregation in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth.
That church plant shares space with the English-speaking Hillcrest church and is known as the Arlington Iglesia de Cristo — Spanish for “Church of Christ.”
On a recent Sunday, the Latino body took another step in its growth and development by merging with another Spanish-speaking congregation.
Elders of the Hillcrest church welcomed the merger. Most Sundays, the English-speaking service starts at 9 a.m., followed by Bible classes at 10:30 (children and teens of both language groups meet together) and worship in Spanish at 11:30.
But on this Lord’s Day, about 200 Christians joined together at a bilingual celebration assembly and then ate grilled cheeseburgers and carne asada — a Hispanic specialty with fajita beef — at a multicultural potluck.
“Today, we are bringing together three churches,” Hillcrest elder Alfred Wood told the combined group. “When you consider how many different countries, cultures, races and the ages of brothers and sisters that are represented here, how can this diverse body come together and grow?
“Some say it can’t,” Wood added. “I say, if God is behind us here today, how can it not work. Amen?”
“Amen!” the crowd replied.
This story appears in the February 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.