On Sabbath afternoon, June 5, Northern California Conference (NCC) administrators officially organized the San Leandro Spanish church.
The organization ceremony took place in the Golden Gate Academy (GGA) auditorium. “It was a wonderful and spiritual service,” said Luis Fernando Manrique, who has served as pastor of the congregation since early 2020. “The members were very happy and excited for this moment they had been waiting for.”
The congregation began in early 2009 as a “daughter” group of the Oakland Spanish church, then led by Pastor Paul Guevara. “We heard that there was no Adventist presence in San Leandro, and we took that as a challenge,” he said. “We had a big enough church to support a church plant, we had the right leadership, and we believed in the mission.”
Led by Aníbal Moreno, 11 core members began meeting in the San Leandro home of Carlos and Elizabeth Del Cid. Four young girls attended the first children’s Sabbath School class, held in the home’s kitchen. After the group grew to more than 30, some members had to stand outside and watch the service through the windows.
In 2015, the congregation moved to the GGA cafeteria building, where they still worship while they raise funds for a building of their own in San Leandro. They were officially organized as a church company in 2016.
The congregation now has about 100 members, and they continue adding more! Very soon after the organization, the church hosted an evangelistic campaign, during which eight people were baptized. “From its inception, the San Leandro Spanish congregation has shown an unwavering commitment to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” said Roman Leal, NCC Hispanic ministries coordinator.
“They have enthusiastically responded to the call to be a mission-driven church,” said NCC Executive Secretary Jose Marin. “They understand that being organized as a church is to be more impactful in preaching the gospel of Christ in San Leandro.”
By Julie Lorenz