Black Church Barrios: African American Churches Adapt to Latino Neighbors
Black churches have responded to the demographic change in a variety of ways, notes Martinez. Some churches have relocated to the suburbs; others have chosen to build bridges to the Latino community by hiring a bilingual pastor; and others have redefined their mission to stay and serve their new community.
Second Baptist commissioned a neighborhood study by the University of Southern California in order to determine how to serve its Latino neighbors better. It now runs a childcare program for 140 Latino children and owns and operates 110 housing units. Seventy percent of residents are Latino.
"It reflects the community," Eps said. "Given the demographic … we will probably become a multiethnic congregation."
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Previous Christianity Today coverage of the growth of the Latino church in the U.S. includes:
A Spanish Service Is Not Enough: It's Time to Feed the 'Hellenized Latinos' | Spanish-speaking ministry models are designed to preserve the preferences of the foreign born. (January 19, 2012)
Will Immigration Slowdown Prompt a Bilingual Ministry Bust? | Churches retool Hispanic outreach after recession impact. (January 19, 2012)
Counting Controversy | Hispanic evangelical leaders debate participation in 2010 U.S. Census. (August 17, 2009)
The Soul of the Border Crisis | Local churches are key in fixing the immigration mess. (June 8, 2009)
Despite Protestant Growth, Hispanic Catholicism Holds Steady in U.S. | Younger generations leaving for Protestant churches, but immigrants make up difference. (February 1, 2003)
Church Growth: New Latino Congregations Spring Up | Church networks are cooperating to launch congregations in unlikely U.S. locations. (September 6, 1999)
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