East Cuban Baptists Celebrate New Church, New Decisions

Over 1,000 young people from the seven provinces that make up the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba (BCEC) met for a Congress this past weekend to celebrate the newly renovated First Baptist Church of Moa.

"This gathering was a great witness to the community and a perfect opening ceremony for the church with the new sanctuary that seats over 1,300," said Elmer Lavastida, pastor of the Second Baptist Church "El Salvador," Santiago de Cuba. The building for First Baptist Church of Moa was finished after a long-standing conflict with the government, which eventually approved the construction.

Lavastida said the congregation of over 800 held 24 hour-prayer vigils for several weeks until the legal problems were solved. "And so this was a festival of joy and thanksgiving," he said.

In other news, an evangelistic team from the Eastern Baptist Churches joined with those in the Western end of Cuba for an intensive week of services Nov. 22-28 as part of the "There is Life in Jesus" continental crusade throughout Latin America.

Lavastida reports hundreds of people made professions of faith in Christ in the Havana and Pinar del Rio provinces. A service was held in the refurbished sanctuary in Minas de Matahambre in Pinar del Rio to celebrate with all the new converts at the end of the crusade.

"If this continues," Lavastida said, "soon our sanctuaries will not be able to accommodate growing churches. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"

Next February, the BCEC will celebrate a centennial and a special assembly will meet Feb. 21-27.