A few months ago Time Magazine’s cover story focused on a Latino Reformation in America. It documented stories of churches in America that were doubling in size every few years. Their common denominator: Latino Charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
The reporter, after visiting various Latino churches said, “All were fervent believers—they sang with hands high, and danced during worship. They were charismatic and believed in miracles.” They told the Time reporter their stories of how they converted, how God healed their physical illnesses, and how their churches became refuges from hunger and homelessness. To the mainstream American culture, and even other evangelical churches, they were invisible. But they were hiding in plain sight.
Latino evangelicals are one of the fastest growing segments of America’s churchgoing millions. It is difficult to track the numbers of the groundswell of these new churches. They often meet in storefronts or living rooms, and language barriers complicate the census process.
Wilfredo De Jesús leads the 17,000-strong New Life Covenant Church in Chicago. In 2000, just 100 people attended, and all were Spanish-speakers. Now it is the largest Assemblies of God church in the nation.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback church in California and of Purpose Driven Life fame, put the Latino church growth best. “The greatest growth of all is coming in the Pentecostal or charismatic churches,” he said. “It is the untold story.”
Could it be that the Lord is preparing the Latino church to lead our nation back to Christ? When the enemy comes in like a flood, the LORD shall raise up a standard against him. (Is. 59:19) The Latino church could be His best kept secret for America.