Remembering How We Began
1953 – 1989
In 1953, a group of brethren that came from Damascus Christian church located in the Bronx, and had moved to Queens, NY began to gather at their homes to seek the Lord. The Pastors of that Church were Rev. Robert (Francisco) Rosado and his wife Leo. In 1953, they thought wise, and in God’s will to send Felipe and Luisa Rodriguez to lead the group. They began having prayer services in the home of Bro’s. Efrain and Rafaela Arce. Bro’s. Roberto and Paquita Cruz began gathering with the group and later on, Oscar and Betty Arce joined, as well as Toñita and hilda Arce, Becky and Rafael Cajigas. By 1954, the group had grown substantially. Among others, Bros. Primitivo and Viña Vega, Asira and Mencho Nieves, Raul and Milagros Cazaus also joined the group. By this time there was a need for a temple and they were led by the Lord to buy a building in South Ozone Park, NY. At this time the Andino family, the Baquero family, Bro. Bernabe Madera and Angel Rivera also joined the church.
The Lord has blessed the church in such a special way that in 1969 a bigger temple with a parish was acquired. in 1962, Sis. Irene Baquero along with Bro. Roberto Cruz organized the Cadets, a Children’s ministry. by 1979, they had 46 boys and girls participating. The Sunday school and children’s ministry numbered to about 100 kids. They also began to hold VBS (Vacation Bible School), and many children from the community attended. For 34 years the Church enjoyed growth; spiritual as well as numeric growth with the excellent ministry and leadership of Pastors Felipe and Luisa Rodriguez. on January 16, 1988 they retired, and we, both sad and appreciative said “so long” as they moved on to the State of Florida. We know and will witness when the Lord crowns them in Glory.
During this time the church branched off from the Damascus Council and became part of the “Open Bible Council” by the name: “First Hispanic Church the Open Bible”. The pastor appointed was Rev. Antonio Orona, who for two years led the church teaching the Bible and preaching.
1990 – 2008
Pastor Orona, after two years of ministry, moved to another state. it was then that another change took place, and on January 16, 1990 the church solicited to be part of the Spanish Eastern District of the Assemblies of God. The church was left under the care of the Co-Pastor and officials. At this time the membership of the church was of about 100 members. The Sunday school attendance was approximately 160 students and about 200 people attended the church services on Sunday nights.
On the 15th day of February 1990, with much expectation, our church received the new pastoral family, composed of Pastor-elect Hector DelValle sr., his beautiful wife Mirita, and his children Daribel and Hector Jr. Although Mirita was not fond of the “Pastor’s wife” idea, she however accepted the will of God and opened her heart to the ministry. She has been an ideal wife and exemplary mother. Her smile, understanding and personal attention to every member and visitor of our congregation have manifested qualities worthy of a pastor’s wife. Hector jr. and Daribel, were obedient and and blessed the church with their talents. They quickly grew-up and left to follow God’s plan for their particular lives and are presently living in the State of Florida.
For 18 years Pastor Del Valle, shepherded our church faithfully and responsibly. We felt the sensitive beat of a shepherd’s heart at the needs of the people. He has manifested wisdom in making decisions, sensibility in rectifying problems, and has been a most caring counselor. Through the years, a great harvest of souls were reached and ministered to in the power of God’s word and spirit. We enjoyed a beautiful spirit of fellowship, and have felt confident in the fine administration, unity of peace and respect of our syndicates, deacons and associate pastors, as they have worked hand in hand with our Sr. pastor towards the wholesome growth of our church. We enjoyed competent leadership that our Sr. pastor managed to prepare and efficiently work in the different departments of our church. We are proud of the assurance our Pastor DelValle showed in sharing his ministry with a group of specialized ministers that have developed under his ministry.
Approximately 15 ministers went through his mentoring, and each one has shown respect, love and appreciation for the privilege given to them to minister along his side. Our children and youth grew and developed in leadership, thanks to Pastor DelValles's understanding and appreciation of family values as well as the frailty and struggles of today’s families. Our senior brothers and sisters felt support, encouragement and love as he made possible that their needs, as well as the needs of our community be facilitated and met, through the leadership of our church. Our church witnessed and experienced numerical, spiritual, social and economic growth during our Pastor DelValle's leadership. It is without a doubt that his ministry blessed and touched each and every one of our lives. We are will be forever deeply grateful for this man of God and his family; for their faith, compassion and leadership in the great undertaking of accepting God’s calling to ministry, and the commitment to accomplish it well.
After 18 faithful years of service, Pastor Del Valle retired from the ministry on July 13th, 2008.
2008 – Present
In the Spring of 2008, Pastor Carlos and Rebecca Medina who served under then Sr. Pastor Hector DelValle as Co-Pastor, were elected as Senior Pastors of Elohim Christian Church and still serve as Pastors to this day.