81 YEARS OF
' The glory of this house will be greater than the glory of the former house,'
says the Lord Almighty....
History of Fuente de Vida Christian Center
The Journey from our Founding
Into the 21st Century
In the beginning of 1938, Santiago and Yolanda Huerta were touched by God’s love in the fields of what we know today as the City of Coachella. Long before 1946, when the City of Coachella was organized, neighbors and friends of Lorenzo and Carmen Escamilla and the Huerta’s began meeting in homes. There, in friendship, they prayed for their needs and read the little black book that arrived into their hands, the Bible. In those years it was rare to have access to a Bible, because it was privileged only to the clergy. The message of the Bible was simple but radical; God loves you, He wants to have a relationship with you and desires to restore your life. This Good News revolutionized this small group.They worked hard to buy the lot on the corner of Calle Avila and Avenue 53, and the Huerta’s and the Escamilla’s donated a second lot, which is where we are located today.
Coachella has had significant population growth throughout the years. But with this development, social issues such as drug addiction, gangs, school drop-outs and domestic violence have increased. The hard working blue-collar families striving to get ahead, laboring long hours in the agricultural fields and employed in the resorts and hotels and casinos, were hit hard by these social problems.Throughout the years,the Gospel’s message of love and hope has restored the lives of many children, young people and adults.
Today, Fuente de Vida Christian Center is the oldest Christian congregation in Coachella and the oldest continuing Hispanic congregation of the charismatic- Pentecostal movement Church Of God in the United States. We celebrate our relationship with God as we worship in our historic building (built before 1950). And, we continue writing the story of the love of God to bless and better serve our Valley of Coachella!
Fuente De Vida Christian Center has celebrated more than 78 years of restoring the lives of people in the Coachella Valley from a spiritual foundation and directing them as responsible and productive citizens of the state of California. FVCC is a significant historical component in the history of the city of Coachella (founded in 1946), as the first evangelical church in the city. The church sanctuary is one of five historic buildings of the city of Coachella. Also, January 1, 1942, FVCC united with the Church Of God of Cleveland, Tennessee, makeing FVCC the oldest continuing Hispanic Church of God congregation.
I, Enrique Orellana, along with my wife, Denise, am so extremely grateful that in 2003, God brought us to lead this congregation. We sincerely feel that all our previous ministerial experiences prepared us to pastor this congregation. It is a wonderful task of love that God has given us. We are thankful to have pastored the last surviving pioneer member of this ministry, Carmen Escamilla, till her death in 2011. In the humble beginnings of this ministry in 1938, Lorenzo and Carmen Escamilla opened their home to start this ministry, along with Pastors Santiago and Yolanda Huerta. The Escamilla’s and the Huerta’s donated the land where we worship our Creator today. We recognize that everything good we have is a gift from God, and we have so much to be thankful for!
Our heritage has placed us in a position of privilege, honoring those who have cleared the path before us, so that today we declare: Thus far has the Lord helped us! We have a history of victory after the battle, attaining liberty in Christ and extending the Kingdom of God in our community. As from the beginning until the present, our desire is to hear, learn and grow in the plan and purpose of God!
With this solid foundation, we are looking toward the future. How wonderful to teach our children the greatness and faithfulness of God, as we aim them like arrows to their divine destiny! We are assured that God will continue to guide us to expand His Kingdom; preaching the Good News of Salvation, freeing the captives, healing the broken hearted and restoring them in His love. Some might have considered the town of Bethlehem as an insignificant place, and many could judge Coachella with insignificance, but they are mistaken! God has awesome plans for His Church, and definitely He is doing something special in this place!
A CHURCH WITH VISION
" You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."Act 1:8
Our heritage has placed us in a position of privilege, honoring those who have cleared the path before us, so that today we declare: Thus far has the Lord helped us!
We have a history of victory after the battle, attaining liberty in Christ and extending the Kingdom of God in our community. As from the beginning until the present, our desire is to hear, learn and grow in the plan and purpose of God!
With this solid foundation, we are looking toward the future. How wonderful to teach our children the greatness and faithfulness of God, as we aim them like arrows to their divine destiny! We are assured that God will continue to guide us to expand His Kingdom; preaching the Good News of salvation, freeing the captives, healing the broken hearted and restoring them with His love. Some might have considered the town of Bethlehem as an insignificant place, and many could judge Coachella with insignificance, but they are mistaken! God has awesome plans for His Church, and definitely He is doing something special in this place!
"Touching the World
with His Furious Love!”
- Enrique Orellana
Enrique and Denise Orellana
Lead Pastors of Fuente de Vida Christian Center
In the fall of 2003, Fidencio Burgueno, Bishop administrator of the Church of God at the time, asked us to go be interim pastors of the FVCC. With a willing heart and spirit I said yes; thinking that it would be two months, not knowing that God "would surprise us" with the most beautiful experience of our ministry in these 12 years.
The God of Israel who did great wonders and miracles, would begin to write the history of this ministry, in the lives of dozens of families and even in our city. A "glorious story" in which God receives all the glory and honor. We would plant our lives and hearts as a family to be part of bringing and establishing the Kingdom of God in this valley. After some time, God gave us a promise: "Because I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for prosperity and not calamity, to give a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
When we made the decision to stay as pastors, there was no guarantees or securities but we understand that God is glorious. Today, those who have caught the Vision of God, to "go and make disciples of all nations". We constantly say: "From Coachella we are touching the world". It seemed crazy to say this in 2004, however, God has commissioned us to show his Super Abundant Grace and thus be living this adventure of faith that transforms, restores and enriches so many families.
We thank God for His Presence which impacts the community, the valley and nations and ethnic groups by sharing the love of God. For us the Orellana family: Denise, Noelia, Israel, Sandy and I feel privileged to be instruments in the hands of God to be a blessing to so many people. Trust in the Lord and He also will surprise you!
How wonderful it is when a life is renewed by genuine love!
Everybody needs love, but in the anxiety of seeking it, frequently, real love is camouflaged by the countless distractions of life. There are so many voices calling out that the Voice of True Love is muffled by the commotion of daily living.
True Love is found in the source of love, which is God. His Love is perfect, faithful and eternal, which is the love every person on earth yearns! His Love mends broken lives, heals hurting hearts, restores abused souls and gives hope to desperate people!
The power of His Love frees and transforms lives!
Since 2003, my family and I have the privilege of serving as the pastoral team at Fuente De Vida Christian Center in Coachella, CA. With great delight and sincere joy, we have witnessed the transforming power of His Love in the lives of our church family at FVCC. I recognize that God takes imperfect lives (including my own) to form and shape, and then He fills them with His Extravagant Love for His Extraordinary Purpose!
If you have not discovered His True Love, all you have to do is open your heart to the Lover of your soul, who is Jesus Christ.
He loves you with Extravagant Love! Sin (which is our stubborn selfishness, rebellious pride and self-righteousness) separated all of us from God. Jesus Christ paid the price for all of our sins and died on the cross for you and me, and for all of humanity! John 3:16 describes His absolutely immeasurable love! All you or anyone has to do is tell God that you are sorry for committing your sins and want His forgiveness. God will forgive you and make you His child! Then, God will do what you cannot do in your life; He will transform you by His Extravagant Love for His Extraordinary Purpose!