Since its foundation, La Iglesia El Camino in Greenville, South Carolina has been a church that lives out its mission statement: “A place where: We study, learn, and practice the Word of God with love, faithfulness, and loyalty.” Led by Reverend Frankie Rodriguez, Hispanic Ministry Leader of The Wesleyan Church, this congregation has taken huge leaps of faith through various ministries to show radical love to their community. La Iglesia El Camino stands out because they have become a family for countless immigrants, opening up their arms to welcome new brothers and sisters in Christ. Adhering to this call, La Iglesia El Camino set out on a journey to find a way to provide practical support to many immigrants and fill a growing need within their community. This passion to serve was recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) last week with the final approval of The Wesleyan Church’s fifth Immigrant Connection office on July 7th, 2015.
La Iglesia El Camino has been working relentlessly to pursue the call of opening an Immigrant Connection, Inc. office within their church. With the continued prayer and support of both his local congregation, the South Carolina District office, and the G eneral Superintendent’s office, Rev. Rodriguez received legal training and shadowing to become a BIA-accredited representative. District Superintendent of the South Carolina District, Buddy Rampey expresses his gratitude and support of Rev. Frankie Rodriguez.
We are grateful to God for the opportunity He is providing for our district to have an expanded ministry to the immigrants in our area through this new immigration ministry center. I applaud our DBA for the vision and commitment to provide the ‘seed funds’ for the training and other expenses that make this possible. We are deeply indebted to Rev. Frankie Rodriguez and his passion to minister to the Hispanic community and other groups by completing the necessary training and providing the leadership for this center. Another pastor, Rev. Matthew Miller, is well along in the certification process as well. It is our hope that this center will provide a means for us to minister to these who are marginalized in our present immigration gridlock, earn their good will and ultimately provide opportunity to share the Good news.
With the assistance of his team, Rev. Rodriguez will be able to provide low-cost legal services to the immigrant community in Greenville and the surrounding areas. David Drury, Chief of Staff of The Wesleyan Church, has been vocal in his continued support of Rev. Rodriguez in this pursuit.
Frankie Rodriguez was there at the very beginning at the start of Immigrant Connection. He cast a vision to us of a site opening in every single Wesleyan district. It is fitting that he now leads the fifth such site for us and the first in South Carolina. So thankful for his leadership.
La Iglesia El Camino joins a group of churches and leaders who are choosing to make a difference in their community by “welcoming the stranger.” Please join us in praying for Rev. Rodriguez and the congregation of La Iglesia El Camino as they continue to seek God’s direction, blessing, and revival of their community.
*Previous Immigrant Connection Sites have been launched in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan and Georgia. To view a map of all of our current sites, BIA Representatives and sites soon to be launched visit our Immigrant Connection Site Map page. For more information on the work of Immigrant Connection in The Wesleyan Church and beyond go to Wesleyan.org/Immigrant or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the mailing list.
From left to right, pictured above is Jose Pancheco, Frankie Rodriguez, and Alfredo Barreno.