BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Apostolic Assembly Church on the east side of Bakersfield is feeling blessed to have reached 100 years of faith and community.
“I think it says a lot about God’s faithfulness,” said Pastor Abel Duarte. “The church is His and He established it, and it has been a hundred years.”
The church has not always been at its current location on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Bakersfield. The original church building was damaged in an earthquake back in 1952. Then they spent years at a location at King and Butte Streets.
The current church building was completed in 1968, and was remodeled in the 1970s to accommodate its growing congregation. While the church started as a Spanish-language only church, it has since expanded to include more of the community.
“We thank the Lord for faithful people, but we thank the Lord for God’s faithfulness in always providing people, and resources, and gifts, and callings to sustain the work,” said Duarte.
In the years since the church was founded, it has become much more than just a place to go for services. According to Duarte, the church offers a number of different fellowship groups for men, women, and all ages of children. Duarte says the church hopes these groups serve to encourage the community.
“It’s a light in dark times. We’re living in times where there’s a lot of oppression, there’s a lot of loneliness,” said Duarte. “The church offers a message of hope in salvation through Jesus Christ, and it’s a bright light. It’s a very bright light, and we pray that this light will go from here into the hearts of people and throughout the world.”
Ordained Minister Jonathan Duarte says both new and former church members are invited to the 100 year celebration.
“I’m just excited because one hundred years we have not only our church, we have friends and family and old members that used to come here,” said Jonathan Duarte. “They will be coming back to celebrate with us.”
The Bakersfield Apostolic Assembly Church will be holding special services starting on Friday, October 7th and will close its 100 year celebration with a banquet on Sunday night.