Connecting Carolina and the world to Christ

October 6, 2020

Ask Osmel Jimenez if he likes living in America and he is quick to smile and say yes.

He is from Cuba, after all.

Jimenez spent 20 years in Christian ministry there before he and his wife, Hilda, and their three kids came to the United States, settling down to live in the Charlotte area. He loves his new home country — and, because of his background, he wants to explain to Americans why they also should love their country.

Jimenez was called to plant a new church in the Monroe area and soon started partnering with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Church Planting team. That team was able to provide him financial support and coaching because N.C. Baptists provide support through the Cooperative Program and the North Carolina Missions Offering.

Jimenez found a great partnership with Lakeview Baptist Church, whose spacious building stands tall in the rolling rural area northeast of Monroe. Lakeview has adopted Jimenez and his church as ministry partners, not just rented or loaned him a meeting place.

On a typical Sunday morning, Lakeview volunteers are working on the equipment setup for the Hispanic service, making sure the sound and other provisions are working correctly.

“I found a family in this church and in the Baptist state convention,” Jimenez says, “because they have made me part of their team and that has been really good for me.”

“People are disconnected from God but God wants all people to be connected to Him and the love of Jesus.” — Osmel Jimenez

One would assume a Spanish-speaking Hispanic from Cuba would surely plant a Spanish-speaking church for Hispanics, because there are many Hispanics in the surrounding area. However, he is reaching out not just to Hispanics, but to people from many lands who now live in the Charlotte-Monroe area.

Very soon after launching — and after services became possible amid the pandemic — attendance was more than 30, not bad for a new launch.

But Jimenez is dreaming way beyond Monroe.

He preaches every week via the internet to scores of other people gathered in Durham, Cuba and Brazil. And in his vision, that’s just the start.

“Pray for me, because I want to go to another nation and help young people and families come to Jesus,“ Jimenez says. “People are disconnected from God, but God wants all people to be connected to Him and the love of Jesus.”

Ask Jimenez how he meets new people to talk to and his answer is, well, electrifying.

He works as an electrician for a Charlotte company. His work takes him to many parts of the state week by week. As he meets people, he shares his faith and then stays in touch with the new believers. That’s how he sets up new groups meeting far from Monroe.

If you happen to drive the Concord Highway from Monroe and you pass Lakeview Baptist Church, you won’t see the connections that reach out to many people and lands.

But through Osmel Jimenez, those connections are definitely there and growing.


by Mike Creswell  /  Contributing Writer

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!