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California pastor sets up new church in Wilmont

Flora Iniguez leads services at Christian Church Iglesia Cristiana, which take place in the former First Presbyterian Church building in Wilmont. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom / The Globe)1 / 3
Christian Church Iglesia Cristiana is located at 301 Fifth St., Wilmont. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom / The Globe)2 / 3
The sanctuary at Christian Church Iglesia Cristiana. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom / The Globe)3 / 3

WILMONT — Nearly three years after the closing of First Presbyterian Church, religious services are once again taking place in the sacred Wilmont building.

This time, the church hosts new faces and a new name — Christian Church Iglesia Cristiana.

Leading the services is Flora Iniguez, a pastor from California-based Pentecostal ministry Ministerio Misionero Mundial,  who moved to Wilmont in March.

The ministry is expanding its reach into southwest Minnesota, as it also has churches in Pipestone and Marshall. Iniguez recruited the Wilmont church’s first members in July, and the small congregation has slowly been growing.

“When we first started, I would hold Bible study by myself,” Iniguez said. “But the word has spread, and now we have been getting new members from around the area.”

The church’s membership currently consists entirely of Spanish speakers, but as Iniguez is fluent in English and Spanish, she would like to host services in both languages.

For Iniguez, a Honduras native who immigrated to California at a young age and spent most of her life in a desert climate, Minnesota was quite a shocking change. Right away, she got to experience her first April snowstorm.

“I’ve been in places where it’s been cold and maybe snowed for a day, but nothing like this,” Iniguez said. “Even the rain in California is never so strong and heavy like here.”

The small-town atmosphere, too, was also a big shift for the longtime Long Beach resident.

“In California, there’s no peace and quiet,” Iniguez said. “Over here, it's totally different. You hear a little noise and you wonder what happened! Everyone leaves their cars unlocked and their doors open. It’s like a different world.”

The ministry sent Iniguez to Wilmont to get the church started and host services. The plan is for Iniguez to stay in Wilmont for several years to build up the church.

“I’m open … if God wants me to stay, I’ll stay. If he wants me to go, I’ll go,” Iniguez said. “But I like it here.”

Christian Church Iglesia Cristiana is located at 301 Fifth St., Wilmont. On Sundays, Bible study starts at 10 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m. The church also hosts bible study at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Iniguez can be contacted at (951) 426-9317.

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