First Baptist Nacogdoches creates services to include Spanish speakers in worship
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches is reaching out to the community in a new way. Since February of this year, the church has been offering services in Spanish to better connect with the Hispanic population. It is a program that is near and dear to Assistant Pastor and Hispanic Minister Caleb Castro.
“Other youth that were growing up with me, they realized that hey, our primary language is English,” said Castro. “They weren’t really understanding the Bible, biblical terms, everything just sort of became noise. Many of them are no longer attending church. I’m probably the only one.”
According to data from the US Census bureau’s American community survey from 2015, more than 9 million people speak a language other than English in the state of Texas. That population would typically have to find a completely separate place of worship for a non-English service. This isolation from the English speaking community is something that Senior Pastor Noel Dear actively wanted to avoid when developing the program
“You know a lot of churches, when they approach this, they start a separate church for people in a different ethnic group and we would never criticize that, but here at First Baptist we really want to make everybody a part of the same church,” said Dear. “We want to see people of all different ethnic groups sitting right there on Sunday morning worshiping with us.”
First Baptist Nacogdoches has also been active online. Pastor Castro and other members of the church participate in web videos and informational content that is posted on Facebook and on the church website to reach the community even when they are away from service
“A lot of things are going to change around here, and for the better. We are just adding a Hispanic side I guess you would say, a bilingual side. So there will be more videos kind of highlighting what we are doing, but also giving more information about all this.”
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