Church name/type: Iglesia Pentecostal, some type of Pentecostal I imagine. This was a Spanish speaking church. Iglesia is the Spanish word for church BTW.
Pastor: I’m not actually sure of the pastor’s name. She was a non-English speaker and we only interacted a little.
Style of worship: first prayer, then scripture mixed with song, sermon, and more intense prayer- The entire thing took a little over three hours. The songs were repetitive and with breaks for short witness-type explanations (God put this in my heart). The sermon was also something like an hour.
Overall Impression: Actually was a pretty short three hours.
Thoughts: Admittedly I was terrified of this particular week’s church. The door says 11am – 2pm; that’s three hours potentially all in Spanish. I took some Spanish in high school but it’s been a long time. However, from the start it actually felt pretty comfortable. People smiled at me and tried to accommodate me in English as I spoke my bad Spanish at them. The music was loud and fun, as well as repetitive enough to catch onto the words eventually. This church also had a nice range of diversity in its membership. A few of the members probably identify as black; from that all the way to the little blonde girl made a wide variety of brown shades. I fit just fine in that respect. There was English translation of the service by a bilingual member. She really impressed me. Translation on the fly is hard, and it’s not like she was a professional translator or anything.
Much of the service was fun, comfortable and interesting. There were, however parts of the message I don’t think I can get behind. Some of it was the usual ‘we have the truth and no one else does’ type stuff. And there was an odd amount of focus on demons. We prayed to expel demons at the start of worship and we learned that demons can mess with you if you aren’t wearing God’s armor (faith and love). The story of Daniel and the cloud of demons around him was referenced. So many demons were surrounding him, it took God’s angel a week to get to him- if I remember the story correctly. Also there was a heavy focus on God being behind bad things that happen. We heard that story from Acts where Paul tells a couple to give money to the church. Paul knows they are withholding cash from the church. When they act surprised, Paul scolds them and they fall down dead one after another. Am I supposed to believe God will strike me down dead if I lie? Chilling. Although it is hard to get a complete sense from another language how closely this is actually believed.
Would I go back?: Maybe. The friendliness is a strong positive factor. And this place probably had my favorite music so far.