Within a few months, the Arise Seventh-day Adventist Church went from a concept to a reality. The church, which focuses on providing a relevant ministry for third and fourth generation Hispanic-Americans, launched in the Fall of 2012. “Over 80 people attended the first Sabbath and one even came forward to be baptized,” said Jacqueline Sanchez-Ventouris, elder. “These numbers reflect an obvious need for this type of specific service.”
Arise first met in the Potomac Conference’s Hispanic Ministries Center for Evangelism in Temple Hills, Md. Though many members and visitors traveled nearly 30 miles through heavy northern Virginia and DC traffic, with God’s help, the church still gained momentum and membership continued to grow.
About a year later, the church moved to a community recreation center near downtown Silver Spring, Md. At each service, church goers had to set up and breakdown equipment and staging, which created several challenges. Fortunately, in June of 2014, after months of praying and searching, Arise was able to move into their present home on Georgia Avenue, a main hub that leads to downtown Silver Spring. “It’s not the traditional church and steeple, but it is a divinely appointed basement location nestled within a strip mall where our neighbors are a bakery, a jewelry shop, three ethnic restaurants and apartments,” says Anissa Perez, director of programming. “Since we’ve moved in, our attendance has continued to increase. Praise the Lord!”
Arise, which is focused on community outreach, has continued its service with a free Vacation Bible School, which attracted over 10 families, community events such as Pray for World Peace Day and Walk of Hope and bringing smiles to the community with free water and smiley balloons.
“With God’s guidance we have captured the attention of the community with our presence and pray that He will continue using us to bring light to the neighborhood,” said Perez. “We look forward to the next phase of Arise which includes reaping events, more community outreach and exploring new ways to preach the Gospel. We are an out-of-the-box church for an-out-of-the-box community. Please continue to have us in your prayers so that others may come to know Christ.”