Idaho Conference Efforts Multiply Hispanic Churches
“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching through His servant” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 196).
These words were the result of Ellen White’s personal analysis regarding the years and events that occurred as she and her husband served the Lord together.
These same words could summarize the Hispanic membership growth in the Idaho conference, specifically during the 2015–2018 quadrennial.
The development of the Hispanic work in Idaho Conference began with a modest growth pattern until 2013, when conference administrators decided to adopt a more aggressive growth strategy, including significant investments in evangelism and pastoral care.
At the beginning of 2015, the Hispanic work had five Idaho Conference congregations: Nampa, Payette, Jerome, Idaho Falls and Heyburn, most of which were small companies.
By the end of 2019, four additional congregations were planted (Twin Falls, Caldwell, Boise and Wilder) resulting in a total of nine Hispanic congregations currently in the conference.
The significant result of evangelistic thrusts planned and executed during the last quadrennial resulted in 24% of the total conference’s baptisms coming from Hispanic churches. This translates into a Hispanic membership growth of 43% along with a 101% rise in Hispanic member tithe for the same period.
With this unprecedented growth, one in every nine Adventist members in Idaho is Hispanic.
This significant evangelistic growth was supported by the Hispanic departments of other North Pacific Union conferences too. Their support in 2018 made it possible to host eight Hispanic pastors from throughout the NPUC volunteering to preach evangelistic series in Idaho Conference churches.
Another major blessing for the Hispanic work in Idaho was the acquisition of buildings and properties. The Caldwell Church was able to acquire a beautiful building, thanks to the financial support of all the rest of our Hispanic congregations, and the $25,000 from the NPUC Hispanic ministries department.
Additionally, our Twin Falls Hispanic Church received a generous donation of two acres in a prime location — with a high market value — from the English-speaking Twin Falls Church. These two acres are ready to begin construction of a future church building on the site.
There is no doubt these results required concerted teamwork on the part of administrative leaders, local pastors and laity, all united in their commitment to the mission of our church. However, these statistics don’t merely represent what God’s people have done out of love for their God; rather, they exemplify what our gracious God has done out of love for His people. That is why all the glory belongs to our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.
Great challenges may come in the new quadrennial. However our recent history testifies we have nothing to fear. With the power of our omnipotent God, our victories and advancement are assured.