Berwyn pastor brings 'The Word' to Iglesia Bautista Betel
|Francisco Orozco, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Betel, moved his congregation from Cicero to the former Berwyn United Lutheran Church at 2400 Harvey Ave., Berwyn, in November. Orozco said the expansive building will serve the church’s mission to be of service to the entire community. (Joe Sinopoli — firstname.lastname@example.org)|
BERWYN — There were only six pieces of chicken left at the celebration following the packed dedication service at the new location of Pastor Francisco Orozco’s Iglesia Bautista Betel — enough for only six of the 12 Apostles.
Orozco’s Baptist church, which had been the location of the Berwyn United Lutheran Church at 2400 Harvey Ave., Berwyn, has about 130 members. But that didn’t stop about 500 people from coming to celebrate their faith at the church’s new home last month.
Iglesia Bautista Betel, formerly located at 5318 W. 25th St., Cicero, moved to the new church just after Thanksgiving.
It is a unique ministry, Orozco said.
“It’s a cross-cultural ministry because we try to provide services in both English and Spanish,” he said.
The English services are officiated by Pastor Paul Springer of the Transformed Life Baptist Church.
Orozco said the diversity of the area fits in with his movement to reach all cultures.
“We want to serve not only Spanish-speaking people but English-speaking people, as well,” he said.
To that end, an English service is held at 9 a.m. on Sundays, followed by an 11 a.m. service in Spanish.
In addition to its Spanish- and English-speaking ministry, there is a strong children’s ministry, the Awana Program, that meets Friday nights, where children memorize bible verses through games.
There also is a ministry that caters to some 400 Hawthorne Race Course workers and their families.
“We have bible studies there and try to help people learn English,” Orozco said.
Orozco started his journey in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston where he was ordained as pastor in 1994. In 2005, he moved to another church in Kansas and came to Cicero the following year.
The biggest difference between Texas and the Chicago area, he said, are the challenges because of the diversity of Hispanic cultures.
“There are a lot of people from different cultures of Latin America. In Texas, most are of Mexican descent,” he said. “Up here, there are people of many cultures — from Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Peru. Another thing definitely is the disfunctionality of a lot of people in the community as far as needs. That’s another challenge.”
He added, however, the Chicago area is a place where such challenges can best be met.
“Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the country,” Orozco said. “It’s rich in diversity and offers a lot of opportunities for Latinos, not only for work, but for academics and studies.”
About Francisco Orozco
Job: Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Betel
Education: Hispanic Baptist Theological Seminary, San Antonio; currently studying for his master’s in philosophy online with the National University of Mexico
Family: Wife, Alejandrina; twin sons Jordan and Eric; daughter, Gibrehl
Notable: Orozco’s working on a personal project to study the theology of an immigrant in the U.S.
More info: For more about Iglesia Bautista Betel, visit the church at 2400 Harvey Ave. in Berwyn or call 630-240-0181
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