As the number of people who speak Spanish continues to grow in Turlock, the Calvary Baptist Church will soon offer church services in Spanish.
As part of the churches’ denomination, Calvary Baptist conducts two worship services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays. But starting Sept. 15, the church will add a Spanish service led by Pastor Juan Alaniz.
“It’s a visionary decision,” said Pastor Rusty Lyon. “There are at least 36,000 people who live within the Turlock areas who speak Spanish. I want to do whatever I can to reach the demographics that have a language barrier.”
The new Spanish service is another piece of the churches’ growing efforts to reach out to Hispanics in an era when more Latinos are starting to grow in population.
“It started as a vision I had about seven years ago,” said Lyon. “I spoke with Juan numerous times on starting a Spanish service but the timing wasn’t right. The opportunity presented itself again this year and after several meetings with Juan and the church board, we felt that this was the time.”
Alaniz, a tennis coach and Spanish teacher at Turlock High School currently pastors at Big Valley Community Church in Modesto. He is the beloved husband of Turlock Unified School District Instructional Coach Josie Ban-Alaniz and father of daughters Quimi and Samantha.
“I’m grateful to take on the role and preach to the Spanish speaking community,” said Alaniz. “I hope to reconcile many families. As a family and couple’s counselor, I believe that everything positive or negative in one’s life starts in the home.”
Calvary Baptist will hold two special Spanish services at 8 a.m. on July 14 and Aug.18 before the service’s inauguration.
“We’re trying to get the word out there and publicize our service and draw in more Hispanics communities,” said Lyon. “Our contemporary and traditional service will remain the same, but we are going to change the location of the traditional service and offer our main sanctuary to the Spanish service. I want to make sure our ministry gives our new Hispanic members the best possible location and time to meet.”
The churches’ inaugural Spanish Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 15 located at 700 E. Monte Vista Avenue.