The Work Begins
A number of Spanish-speaking people from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico moved to the Glenwood area. The members of the Bonnerdale church felt the need to reach these people with Bible truth. In 1994, Lynn and Claudia Rains from Bonnerdale asked Spanish-speaking pastor Milton Quijano of Springdale, an El Salvadorian, to conduct a Revelation Seminar for ten successive nights in mid-October. The seminar was held in the Adventist Community Service center. Jorge Oregon, a layman from Harrison, drove 180 miles each way to team up with Quijano for the meetings. Judy Graybeal from Hot Springs organized children’s meetings each night with games and Bible stories. Others provided special music, including the Mears brothers violin trio, Dr. Sedir Pandit with his saw, and pastor Quijano with Jorge and Tina Oregon singing with their guitars. Ysis Espana, a guest singer, shared her talent. Local Adventist doctors gave nightly health nuggets, translated by Claudia Rains. As a result, eighteen people made a decision to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Many follow-up activities were planned to help integrate these families into the Adventist fellowship. The Bonnerdale Church welcomed the new believers to a fellowship lunch followed by an invitation to a family night at the Bonnerdale gymnasium. They were also invited to an area-wide singspiration. The new believers met every Wednesday night for Spanish Bible classes conducted by the Rains. The Oregons continued to conduct Sabbath services for the group every other week (Lybarger, 1995).
Glenwood Spanish Company Organized in 1996
In appreciation for what the conference had done in helping and fostering their group, the Glenwood Spanish group presented a picture of Christ to the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference on November 12, 1996 (Minutes, 1996). On December 2, 1996, approximately 100 people met in the storefront building on Main Street in Glenwood, Arkansas, to organize a new Spanish company of Adventist believers. Present to help celebrate this event were two conference officers, James Gilley, conference president, and Stephen Orian, conference secretary. When the invitation was given for charter members to sign the book, approximately thirty people lined up to register. Interest among the Spanish speaking residents had been nurtured for more than a year by Pastor Milton Quijano, assisted by local head elder, Jorge Oregon. Jorge moved from quite a distance away with the specific purpose of helping the pastor “grow” this church. Being an emergency medical technician (EMT), he found work with the nearest major hospital and thus became a self-supporting worker. The building in which the congregation met providentially became available. It was purchased by the group before their organization. Renovations were needed, but plans were quickly implemented to make it more useable for church functions. The conference community service director, John Taylor, organized a task force made up of volunteers, both youth and adults, who spent spring break, March 9-16, 1997, helping renovate the building and making it more suitable for worship (Record, 1997).
Glenwood Spanish Church Organized in 2000
The Glenwood Spanish company was organized as a church on April 8, 2000 (Minutes, 2000).
(1996, Nov. 12). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
(1997, Mar. 1). Southwestern Union Record, pp. 10, 11.
(2000, Mar. 9). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
Lybarger, LaVerne. (1995, Jan. 1). Ibid., p. 12.