Bautista Latina moved to new facility; Rivera re-ordained

Monday, August 2, 2004
Lidia Rivera, shown painting a classroom, was among the members of Latina Bautista in Green Forest readying the former Oriental Gardens restaurant for church services. Formal chartering and re-ordination of Pastor Nestor Rivera were conducted Sunday. CCN / E. Alan Long

Bautista Latina, a bilingual Spanish-English congregation in Green Forest, moved into new facilities and was formally chartered as a church by the Arkansas Baptist Convention and the Northwest Arkansas Baptist Association in services Sunday.

Members of the congregation, homeless since First Baptist Church of Blue Eye, Mo., disassociated from Pastor Nestor Rivera in June, were at work this week readying the former Oriental Garden restaurant, located on the south side of U.S. Highway 62 across from First Baptist Church of Green Forest, with new dry wall, paint, and furnishings.

In addition to receiving its charter as a member church of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rivera was re-ordained. Representatives of Northwest Arkansas Baptist Association, formerly Benton County Baptist Association, were on hand for that ceremony.

Rivera stated Wednesday that the decision to associated with the Northwest Association was based on its experience with other Hispanic churches in the burgeoning I-540 corridor.

The congregation consists of 55 to 60 persons each Sunday. Rivera's sermons are in both English and Spanish, delivered with identical inflection and emotion, he said.

He describes the services as lively, and believes they are an example of the church of the future.

Sunday School is at 10:30 a.m., with an evangelistic service at noon. Bible Study is at 6 p.m. on Sundays, and regular Wednesday services are at 6 p.m.

For more information, telephone (870) 438-4262.

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