925 Hale Place, Suite B-9, Chula Vista
Pastor: Melito Barrera
Born: Olongapo, Phillipines
Formation: San Diego State University, San Diego; San Diego Baptist Theological Seminary, San Diego
Years Ordained: 11 years
SDR: Can you think of a time when you gave a sermon that completely flopped?
PB: There were at least two instances in the past where someone rudely stepped into the auditorium when I was preaching on a Sunday morning and loudly asked for someone to move a car because the owner had parked in the stranger’s space. We’re renting a storefront building, and we converted warehouse space into the place where we worship. So, we have several neighbors. That interruption drastically affected my train of thought. I had to pause and pray to really get back on track. That happened a couple times. We don’t have our own building yet, but we’re praying for one.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PB: My main concern is not being able to have the same liberty in the future that I have today in being able to preach the Word of God. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy, Chapter 3, that in the last days perilous times should come. I believe we’re living such perilous times today. More and more people today don’t want to hear the truth preached or proclaimed anymore….
I think that more and more people today would rather be entertained than exhorted or edified by the Word of God.
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregants?
PB: They struggle with the world today, with what society and the government are telling people what they need to do rather than what should be done in a spiritual sense. In other words, application of the Word of God is being ignored because of compromise. My congregation is struggling more with the pressure of compromise in their workplace and taking a stand for the truth.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PB: I believe the mission is to preach God’s Word to nourish God’s saints so they can apply the truth in their lives and to reach out to the community and reach souls for Christ.
SDR: What is the greatest strength of your church in carrying out this mission?
PB: Soul-winning; we go out door to door every week telling people about Jesus Christ.
SDR: What is the greatest weakness of your church in carrying out this mission?
PB: The greatest weakness right now is not having enough people to get involved. We need more folks to have the same conviction as we do. The Lord is always with us and even though we’re few in numbers, just like Gideon’s battle against the Midianites [Judges 7:17–22] in the Book of Judges, even though there were only 300 Israelites, they were able to defeat their enemies.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: I’m 100 percent sure that I’m going to heaven when I die because of God’s promises in the Bible. There was a point in my life when I was convicted by the Holy Spirit of my sin and in my rebellion against God, and through the preaching of the Gospel and by the grace of God, I learned the truth that He is holy and punishes sin in a terrible place called Hell.