Starting Iglesia Gracia Y Verdad
Garden Ranch started 37 years ago as a neighborhood church with Midwestern, traditional small town values. At that time, we were a good match for our community, but over the years our community changed to a more urban, and ethnically diverse population, especially Hispanics.
The kinds of people who used to visit, join, and support Garden Ranch became fewer and fewer and our church found itself in a crisis to survive. As we prayed for God’s direction, we were led by Bill Lighty through a process of rediscovering our purpose and to look beyond the four walls of the church into our community. Our main focus was no longer survival or attendance, but the impact the gospel could have in our community.
As we looked at what our community had become, we saw an increasing number of Hispanics, especially in the twenty-two multi-housing communities within a ten-minute walk of Garden Ranch. Statistically, there are 8,000 Hispanics within a two-mile radius. These facts led us through prayer and discussion to take a step of faith and to get outside the walls of our church.
Through our association’s partnership with Oklahoma and with the Quail Springs Baptist Church we discovered a young couple, Jonathan Ferré and Myrna Medina who lived in Puerto Ricco and who were looking for God’s direction in planting a church. Jonathan and Myrna visited Colorado Springs early in 2015. We at Garden Ranch saw God’s calling on their lives, so invited them to become our church planters. They felt led by God to relocate here with their two sons, which they did in June of 2015.
They moved to a multi-housing complex close to Garden Ranch and immediately began serving people in many ways and sharing the gospel with the Hispanics who live in our area. They invited people over to their home for meals, and then began a Bible study. They also began an ESL on Tuesday evenings teaching people from many different countries. Six weeks ago they started a worship service on Sunday afternoons, which is averaging about thirty people.
It has been exciting, fulfilling, and rejuvenating for us at Garden Ranch to partner with Jonathan and Myrna, to see their enthusiasm and energy to serve people, and their passion for sharing the Gospel.