Thompson welcomes new church to community

by Bonnie Kay Baldwin
Lake Mills Graphic

Ministerio Nuevos Comienzos  Church (or New Beginnings in English) has recently been established in Thompson. Pastors of the Spanish-speaking, non-denominational, independent, full-gospel, Christian  church, Raul Rivera and Raquel Cruz, are formerly of San Antonio, Texas.
“We visited this small town and everything was white (with a lot of snow) and cold. At first we were not sure to move, but we started praying to see if it was God’s will that we moved to Iowa,” said Pastor Cruz.
Pastor Cruz said they knew about Iowa in December of 2019, when a friend called to let them know that a Spanish-speaking church would be welcomed in this area. This friend informed them about many Puerto-Ricans who had moved to Forest City to work at Winnebago Industries, after they endured hurricane Maria, Sept. 20, 2017.
“After a year of prayers for this place, doors started opening,” Cruz continued. “First, a call that there was a vacant house available for us. Second, a job, and third, blessings were becoming a part of each day news.”
After that, Pastor Rivera began an auto detailing business, and Pastor Cruz, works as a VA (Veteran’s Administration) Claims Specialist. They live in Lake Mills. Pastor Rivera has one son, who is 19 and preaches the Word of God and has a Christian band.
Ministerio Nuevos Comienzos originally began meeting in Titonka Savings Bank’s (now NSB) basement hall, until they acquired this church at 377 2nd Ave., Thompson, as of Sunday, Sept. 5. Sundays at 11 a.m. they have worship, called ‘Revival Sunday’, and Friday evenings, they have a service at 7:30 p.m. Office hours are by appointment only, due to their day jobs. Pastor Cruz also stated that they are certified speakers for the John Maxwell Team (well-known for their leadership training).
“They teach adults and are also certified to offer conferences for youth on how they can prepare to become good leaders, now when most of them are facing bullying, and other challenges as youths,” she said.
Besides their day jobs, and the church, Pastors Cruz and Rivera are certified by Christian Family and Marriage Institute. Pastor Cruz is also an author, and is completing a counseling certification, while Pastor Rivera acts as a chaplain.
These two, energetic pastors aren’t the first generation of pastors in both their families. Cruz’s parents are pastors in Cleveland, Ohio, and Rivera’s are retired and from Puerto Rico. Before coming to Iowa, Rivera  began his ministry in 1989 in Vieques, Puerto Rico, working for an international movement until 2016.
“In 2018, we worked as associated pastors for an independent church in San Antonio,” explained Cruz.
“All I can say is that  all the glory is for our God. We are so grateful for this place, for the great people that without knowing us, have accepted us,” said Cruz.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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