Brief History of the First Baptist Church of Chinameca
In 1909 the Baptist missionary Rev. Percy T. Chapman, accompanied by his wife
Mary, arrived in El Salvador to assist the missionary for the Central American
Mission, Rev. Roberto H. Bender. In 1910, at the request of Brother Chapman, the
Missionary Board of the Northern Baptist Convention agreed to send Rev. Lemuel
C. Barnes to conduct a study regarding the feasibility of sending missionaries to
establish a permanent work in El Salvador.
In 1921, the Baptist missionaries did their first contact with the people of
Chinameca. The missionary Edgard Humphry and his wife Vioteta organized an
evangelical campaign in the city's central park. The multitude was so great that
teenagers had to climb trees in order to see and hear "some foreigners
that spoke about the Bible". Two people accepted the Lord in that occasion.
Around that same time, campaigns in the eastern side of the country also took
place. The number of believers kept growing until there were sufficient members to
organize the Baptist Church of Chinameca. On May 26, 1937, with representation
of most Baptist churches of El Salvador, the First Baptist Church of Chinameca
was founded, with Rev. Vicente Ramirez Mendoza as the first pastor.
The First Baptist Church of Chinameca continued working in accordance to
biblical principles set forth by our Lord Jesus Christ and our God who is
faithful in his holy promises. In many ways, the Lord blessed the work of our church
members of that time, but primarily with the arrival of two people who
distinguished themselves in this ministry and whose contributions remain to this
day. First, on September 10, 1945, Rev. Miguel Angel Erazo was installed as
pastor. He invested 30 years on this ministry. The best 30 of years of his life!
Second, in those days the majority our church members were rural low income
families, but God did the work so that a primary school teacher, whose name was
Isabel Rosales Yescas, became a member of our church. Thru her leadership, the
church negotiated government recognition of the church as a legal entity and
thus becoming an independent organization with more flexibility in the
expansion of this ministry. On May 29, 1957, by decree of the Congress of the
Republic of El Salvador, the First Baptist Church of Chinameca was granted its
The time arrived in which Rev. Miguel Angel Erazo had to leave Chinameca to
attend other ministries in the Lord's work. Our church continued growing
until there was insufficient space for our services. In 1984, Rev. Venancio Rodriguez led the church to purchase the land in which to build a
new temple. Many sisters had to sell their jewelry and many brothers had to sell
their electric appliances in auctions to raise funds. The women's group sold
food to contribute to the construction of the temple of the Lord where the
glorious Word of God would be preached.
God has been faithful with the Baptist community of Chinameca. By his grace,
the church has the following ministries:
- A Biblical Institute where pastors and workers are prepared for 4 years so
they are better prepared to serve the Lord. Lodging, food, books and other
materials are provided to the students.
- A group that goes to jails to preach the gospel.
- A team dedicated to evangelistic campaigns.
- Counseling for local churches with less experience in the ministry.
- Social assistance for poor families.
- The pastor is member of the Board of directors of "Radio Esperanza", a
radio station that preaches the Word of God 24 hours a day.
- The church provides christian literature to all dedicated to full time
- There is a ministry of dramas, puppets and special music for children.
- An Internet ministry where we preach the gospel in various digital formats
including audio and video.
In conclusion, we are able to say like the prophet Samuel "Thus far has
the Lord helped us". We are in the hands of God and we want to work for his
glory. We invite you join our ministry and some day, when you are before the
presence of the Lord Jesus, He will say to you: "Well done, good and faithful
servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of
many things. Come and share your master's happiness!".