Cristo Vive translates to Christ Lives, the new church that just opened in Clearwater, North Carolina, with a second opening planned in Harlem this upcoming August. This marks a successful effort by the Georgia-based Augusta Association of Baptist Churches who in less than a year has recruited six churches to partner with Cristo Vive and invest in its mission to reach unchurched Hispanics in southern states.
Its main mission is to reach Spanish-speaking immigrants from various nations to spread the gospel regardless of their immigration status. As a result, Mexican born Reverend Max Guzman conducts services in Spanish.
Reaching out to this population can be a delicate matter however, Terry Jackson, the minister of missions at West Acres understands the concerns and wants to help. “There are a lot of people without credentials,” he said. “They’re timid. They’re not sure they want to be in groups that’ll draw attention. They need to feel safe, and as the population grows we’ve got to find better ways to do that. Legal or illegal is immaterial to us. They all need the gospel.”
Hispanic population has surged dramatically in South Carolina and Georgia according to the Pew Research Hispanic Center and the U.S. Census. They are the fastest-growing population group in the country with even higher growth-rates in southern states. This creates an immediate need for churches to fill and cater to the unique needs of this population.