|An ethnic meal draws a crowd at Nueva Esperanza church in Tulsa during a weekend of anniversary activities.
A bishop of The Methodist Church in Mexico helped Tulsa’s Nueva Esperanza UMC celebrate another year in ministry.
Rev. Dr. Raul Garcia de Ochoa is episcopal leader for the Eastern Conference in Mexico. He preached and led a workshop about evangelism in mid-October at Nueva Esperanza.
Record attendance was reported by Pastor Daniel Llanos-Jimenez. Five babies were consecrated, and new members were received into full connection by profession of faith.
The Tulsa District Hispanic Committee welcomed Bishop Raul for the weekend of activities. At an event for couples, the movie "Fireproof" was screened. Meals included tamales, mole, and Spanish rice.
The bishop compared the Tulsa congregation’s ministry to the life of a teenager, said Rev. Llanos. Both lack many things but are full of energy to continue growing.
Llanos said the congregation traces its beginning to October 1993, when clergywoman Dolores "Dee" Willis initiated outreach ministry to Hispanics in Tulsa. In 2001, Beatrice Kilborn became pastor. Rev. Llanos began serving in 2002.
Today Nueva Esperanza, which meets at 748 N. Louisville, has more than 100 members and attendance averages 80, Llanos reported. On Sundays, bilingual worship is at noon, and there are four Sunday school groups. On Thursday nights, a theological workshop, Bible study, and prayer meeting are offered. A prayer vigil is held on the first Friday of each month. A praise group practices on Saturdays.
Mission service is in cooperation with the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Restore Hope, and Corner Stone ministries.
Llanos said evangelism campaigns and Bible study cells that meet in homes are among the outreach planned for 2010.