The Newcastle Spanish Seventh-day Adventist company became an established church on July 8. A special service was held in the afternoon, attended by North New South Wales Conference (NNSW) president Pastor Adrian Raethel, secretary Pastor Abel Iorgulescu and church planting director Pastor Joseph Skaf.
The church began as a small group in 1991 that gathered in Cooranbong. Despite their modest size, each member was committed to the church’s progress. The congregation, united by their shared faith, worked tirelessly to keep the church running smoothly.
Church member Lucía Osorio shared that there was an abundance of joy and passion among all the members. She compared the group to a lighthouse, explaining that the church was established to ignite and guide the community. Over the years, the church actively participated in various community outreach events, evangelistic campaigns and church camps.
“I have been able to share as a witness and plant seeds in people’s hearts as a member of the church,” said Ms Osorio.
When church member Juan Carlos Rodríguez reflected on his time at the Newcastle Spanish Church, he praised God. “It took Moses 40 years in the wilderness and only 32 years for our church,” he added.
Pastor Skaf explained that for a group to become an organised church, they must first enter the church plant phase, which is comparable to a child. After the group grows, they reach a point of maturity and enter the church company stage, which is likened to a teenager. It is larger; however, to enter the organised church stage, the company needs a certain number of ministries, members and tithes and offering contributions.
Pastor Skaf concluded by stating that “behind this sort of change in status, there is a lot of prayer, a lot of stories [and] a lot of lives being transformed leading up to this point…It is quite incredible to see the [Newcastle Spanish] Church progress to being an organised church.”