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Closed Hispanic congregation finds warm welcome at Houston church

The Fifth Ward church in Houston sang hymns in both Spanish and English as a part of its first bilingual service recently.
Members of the Lyons-Majestic church, a neighboring Hispanic congregation, came to Fifth Ward after their building closed because of concerns about its stability and safety.
“They … worshiped with us a couple of times, but the language barrier was there,” said Gary Smith, Fift Ward minister. So, the Lyons-Majestic group worshiped separately in the Fifth Ward family center for three months before church leaders decided to combine the two church families.
“We really didn’t want to be two separate churches in a church,” he said.
Soon afterward, Lyons-Majestic members placed membership with the Fifth Ward church, and leaders began working to integrate the two groups.
“Everybody’s trying to really make each other feel comfortable and tolerate some of the natural cultural differences that we have,” Smith said.
Fifth Ward members handed out flyers to surrounding neighborhoods to announce the new Hispanic ministry.
“We’re hoping that this will be the start of something that will really help our church to grow,” Smith said.
The congregation has hired a Hispanic minister and plans to have more combined services as church leaders work to integrate the groups.
“Its great, that’s why I’m there,” said Carlos Moencada, former Lyons-Majestic member. “There’s no better place to be.”

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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