LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Two churches have combined their efforts and have become one on Sunday.
Since 2011 two churches have been operating at one location: one church with a Spanish-speaking congregation and another with English-speaking congregation.
For several years, the Temple of Bautista Southside and Southside Baptist Church performed all activities separately but under the same roof.
Senior Pastor Randy Brown said it started when Temple of Bautista Southside needed a place to hold their sermons.
"They were meeting at another church and for whatever reason that didn't work out. They were looking for a new place and so they came here with the idea of staying for a year or so. Saving their money, they were going to look for another place to move," Brown said.
However, instead of moving, the church leaders began discussions since last fall on how to combine their two churches.
After months of talk, what unfolded during the event left the room full of hundreds in excitement of the new partnership.
Spanish-speaking Pastor Roy Reyes explains that across the state only a couple of other churches have adopted this idea.
Reyes welcomes the concept of two languages under one church, which will help combine resources.
"The last two years, two and half years have been changes, great changes and you can see the culmination of that today," Reyes said.
Brown said unifying the churches is not only practical, but brings people together for one purpose of spreading faith.
"I think it's significant because I think it's a picture of what heaven looks like. That it's not broken down by ethnic groups, but we are all in one in Christ," Brown said.
The church will continue to have separate services in Spanish and English to accommodate both languages.