By Valerie Whitworth
Special to the Express
It is a pleasure to meet with two new town residents, Cesar and Jess Lua. Cesar Lua is the Pastor at The Rock Church West, an Apostolic/Pentecostal congregation that meets from 1–3 p.m. on Sundays at the Grand Prince Odeum, 201 Main St. in Winters. This congregation is the continuation of the first church established by the Apostle Peter in the book of Acts.
The church embraces the Pentecostal experience and teaches the Apostles doctrine which is deeply rooted in Judaic teachings as well. Members recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior because He died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected three days later. Jesus told the apostles in the book of Acts to wait for the promise, which is the Holy Spirit.
In Acts Two, the apostles first experienced the day of Pentecost where 120 people received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then, the Apostle Peter gave the formula for salvation: repentance, Jesus’ name in baptism, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is part of the Pentecostal experience. The Holy Spirit connects us with God and gives us hope.
The services begin with prayer and communication with God that allows all congregates to focus and begin the spiritual experience “preparing their hearts.” Next are prayers for specific individuals and circumstances. This is followed by praise and worship led by the music team. Then announcements, offerings, fellowship, and the preached word of God take place and the gathering finishes by offering love, community and spiritual support.
Pastor Lua came to the ministerial position with early experiences in teaching home Bibles. He started in 2007 at age 19 and continued his work in college when he was also helping to build a campus ministry at UC Davis. Through the support of local Winters resident Catalina McCormick, he reached out and assisted Bible studies throughout the region, from Sacramento to Woodland and Davis. He has a Masters in Christian leadership and is currently working on a PhD in Bible Exposition.
A special feature of The Rock Church West is that it offers both Spanish and American Sign Language interpretation. The church is all-inclusive and wants to welcome all who are interested in attending. ADA access is available. The congregation is another example of the community and support that Winters is famous for. We look forward to good the works of this new congregation.