Story by Brenda DePaula
Nearly 400 recently gathered for the grand opening of the Pennsylvania Conference’s Allentown Hispanic church. The celebration included three baptisms and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local, conference, union and General Conference leaders.
The church recently purchased and renovated their own building and merged with two other Pennsylvania churches: Bethlehem Hispanic and Luces de Sion Hispanic Company in Allentown. Senior Pastor Fernando Rocha leads the combined church with the assistance of lay pastor Edwin DePaula.
During the service, church leaders encouraged attendees to donate winter items for newly relocated Puerto Ricans impacted by Hurricane Maria. This collective effort with the Allentown School District sparked immediate interest by community organizations. More than 20 local community leaders, including the mayor, joined the ceremony and expressed interest in engaging in future partnerships with the church to impact the community more effectively.
“Truly, the Lord’s name was honored that day! Our prayer is to continue providing spiritual, emotional and social support and to spread the Word of God in this great community,” says Rocha.