In the southern area of Houston, Pastor Ernesto Luevano and his family are dedicating their lives to the service and witness of Christ among the Hispanic immigrant communities of the area.
Originally from Monterey, Mexico, Luevano moved to Texas in 2013, heeding the instructions the Lord gave him.
“I came to Texas for a family vacation, but after that visit was over, I received a strong calling from the Lord to become a pastor in the United States,” shared Luevano, “I saw the great need among the Hispanic community and how many of them were disoriented without Christ.”
Following the Lord’s calling for his life, in 2019, Luevano received the opportunity to move to the mobile home park, Trinity Duval, where the owners of the park gave him permission to establish a church and share God’s word with all the residents in the community.
Living as a missionary among his neighbors, Luevano started the Iglesia Bautista Hispana “La Biblia Dice Asi” which met in a small storage room given to him by the owners.
“In the span of a year, the Lord greatly blessed us. In this time, we saw around 75 people come to Christ. Every month, I would ask God for one family in particular, so I could work with them and help meet their needs. Soon, we outgrew the space we had at the mobile home park,” explained Luevano.
It was around this time that the Lord once again opened doors and opportunities for Luevano to continue his ministry.
Growing the church and ministering to the community
Located close to Trinity Duval is Pastor Bruce Bumgardner’s congregation, Pine Valley Bible Church. Bumgardner and all his congregation had been praying for over 20 years for a Spanish-speaking pastor to come into the neighborhood and share Christ’s love with the Hispanic community.
“Pastor Bruce, without knowing much about us, opened up the doors of his church and gave us the place we needed to grow,” said Luevano.
While Luevano’s church developed, the COVID-19 pandemic halted many of the weekly events and Sunday services. However, Luevano took this opportunity to expand his work by continuing his ministry through Facebook Live and community outreaches.
“Not even five minutes away from the church there are some apartment complexes called Brookdale Village and Rios de Vida where we do the work of Christ. We come to serve the people in these communities, most of them who are immigrants, by bringing them food, supplies, toys, clothes and the love of God,” shared Luevano.
Once a month, Luevano, his family and various members of the church visit these apartment complexes in order to share their love, time, resources and the message of salvation to these immigrant families in need.
“We as children of God have the responsibility and obligation to bring all of these people to Christ’s throne,” continued Luevano, “Through the events that we organize, we have been able to model and show them Christ’s character. On average, we see around 20 people give their lives to the Lord as a result of our witnessing.”
Keeping up with the vision
At this time, Luevano is still a bivocational pastor, but thanks to the help of brothers and sisters in Trinity Duval, Pine Valley Bible Church, Missions Center of Houston and Texas Baptists the Iglesia Bautista “La Biblia Dice Asi” continues growing and thriving.
“I feel a very strong weight in my heart for the zip code 77087, so that the love of God may shine light and truth in this place. What is happening within my ministry surpasses any plan I envisioned; these are now real happenings,” shared Luevano.
“And the calling I so strongly feel coming from the Lord is found in Matthew 9:36-38:
'But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest' ” explained Luevano.
Luevano asks the Texas Baptists family to be supporting him through prayer, so that he may have even more love for all those who still do not know Christ and the strength necessary to keep working according to God’s plans.
“Right now we are working with three apartment complexes which I think is still too little. Everything I do, I refer back to the great example of salvation my Lord has given me; for this reason, I want to keep serving, working and reaching more people so that they may know His infinite faithfulness and deep love,” concluded Luevano.
To learn more about multi-housing ministry, visit txb.org/housechurch.