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:
And here it is now:
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.