Mexican Baptist Church

Eighty three years ago, our church, then in downtown Fresno, helped build a church in Chinatown for the Mexican population of the city. Seems, now, to be discriminatory, but then it was what seemed to be the right thing to do. Our church also built a  Chinese church which, although no longer in Chinatown, is still a thriving congregation here in town, farther north and more suburban than our current location. As an aside, the Buddhist congregation has also moved out of Chinatown, leaving behind a historic Buddhist temple.

The area of Fresno known as Chinatown has become marginalized, depressed, run down, and as it seems, abandoned by the people who should have stayed and continued to work for its welfare. The Mexican Baptist Church, dedicated in 1929 is still there, looking much as it did on the day it was dedicated. See for yourself:

Image

 

And here it is now:

Image

There is a funeral home across the street, right where I stood to take this photo. The owner was there one day when I came by to show the building to some friends and told us that everything is still original inside. The pastor died, though, and he thought the congregation has dwindled down to only a few members. That makes my heart sad. I’ve been praying that God will continue to use the church for His glory as it has withstood earthquakes, a freeway built right behind it, and then neglect of the community in which it stands. I did not even know this church existed until I started working on our church’s 130-year anniversary and found the program from the 1929 dedication. It was a three-day event. 

 

Advertisements

4 responses to “Mexican Baptist Church

  1. Somehow the juxtaposition of “Mexican” and “Baptist” made my brain go a little haywire. I do hope it continues to enlighten and heal those who need it. The fact that you learned about it while trying to save it speaks volumes.

    • The Baptists are well known for work with diverse people. We believe everyone needs to hear the gospel message. What they do with it is up to them. Fresno is a diverse landscape of peoples from all over the world who have come here to make a better life. Over the years we’ve had Chinese, Mexican, Southeast Asian, and Russian congregations form out of our church. Recently, our members have returned to Mexico and Nigeria to help those still living in those countries. My daughter is a minister in a Chinese congregation in the bay area.

  2. Nothing sadder than a church that has lived it’s life.

    • I don’t believe God is done with this church, yet, and that’s why it’s been brought to our attention. God wants his people to pray and seek his guidance in all things, and that is what I am doing in response to this. I’ll keep you posted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s