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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 legal entity.

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 evangelism.
  • 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!".

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