UCC Welcomes Newly Dedicated Mabton Spanish Church

The Mabton Spanish Company was officially organized as the Mabton Spanish Church at a dedication service on Nov. 20, 2021.

The former Mabton Spanish Company was originally conceptualized in the fall of 2015 by Erik Van Doren, a member of the Grandview Spanish Church. Doren shared with the leaders of his church that a church building in Mabton could be acquired through an arrangement with the City of Mabton.

Doren and the Grandview Spanish Church leaders were soon in agreement. The Grandview Spanish Church leaders allowed the Mabton Spanish Company to occupy the church building rent-free for four years with the understanding that they would bring the building up to code.

In Feb. 2016, Tito Espinoza, who was leading the Mabton church plant project, worked with Walter Pintos, director of multicultural ministries at Upper Columbia Conference, to move forward with the church plant. With the blessing of the conference, a plan was developed.

On Oct. 12, 2016, Espinoza held a meeting to recruit members from each of the district’s Spanish churches to form the team that would initially work at the Mabton church plant. Seventeen baptized church members stepped forward and accepted the mission to spread the gospel to the Mabton community.

The Mabton church plant became an official Mission Group in December 2016, and on Oct. 27, 2017, it was officially recognized as Mabton Spanish Company. Members of the company handed out printed materials throughout the community. The began praying with residents and holding Bible studies. It continued to grow, and today it's a church of 41 members.

Florencio Bueno, pastor of the Mabton Spanish Church, has been with the congregation since 2019. He says the church has a strong focus on community outreach, with programs that support children and families, feed homeless individuals and provide support groups.

“Mabton is an impoverished territory with migrant farm-worker families, a high level of crime, and a lack of sociocultural activities,” said Bueno. “This is a great opportunity to impact the community through our Christian love, using events such as weekly breakfast for the homeless on Sundays, monthly events for children in the community, and our women’s and men’s ministry programs.”

Featured in: March/April 2022

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