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The dream of a family, and a history of fidelity.

Coming from Miami, Florida, in the fall of 1988, Héctor E. Méndez and his then-wife Noemí Parrilla-Mena arrived in the city of Indianapolis, responding to God's call to serve in the ministry and receive their theological and ministerial education at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS). Héctor began his Master of Divinity studies at the seminary, and a couple of semesters later Noemí began his studies as well. Shortly after their arrival, Héctor and Noemí noticed that the Hispanic church Disciples of Christ The closest was about 150 miles from Indianapolis in Gary, Indiana. Which would complicate their situation as students, if their desire was to do their ministerial internship in a Hispanic Disciples of Christ congregation. While most of the students in the seminary began new semesters of ministerial internship in churches, Héctor and Noemí decided to begin an adventure of faith with God, turning Hector's ministerial internship into the planting of a Hispanic Disciples of Christ church. in the city of Indianapolis.


With the backing of the seminary, and the support of the Central Pastoral Office of Hispanic Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada (ICDC), as well as the Division of Domestic Ministries, and the Region of Indiana Héctor launched to that challenge that he understood came from God as a vision for the Latino people of Indianapolis and the ICDC. After having talked with several Disciples congregations in Indianapolis that could open the doors of their building to plant the new church, it was Northwood Christian Church who showed interest in supporting this new work, providing the chapel for worship services at no cost, as well as a couple of rooms for Sunday school. 


It is important to point out that although the church was a vision that God shared in the heart of Héctor Méndez, the work from the beginning was done as a team with a steering group that collaborated in the flourishing of this new work since the beginning of the year 1989._cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_The first worship service that Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana (IHC) held was on Sunday, October 6, 1989, World Communion Sunday, with 15 people present. With the favor of God, the work began to grow, more and more people began to join our family. After 2 years as pastor and catalyst of this work, having completed his studies in the seminary and having been ordained to the ministry, for reasons of work and relocation, Rev. Héctor Méndez concludes his pastorate at IHC in 1991; The congregation is then only under the care and pastoral direction of Noemí Parrilla-Mena, who began the work together with Rev. Mendez, and had already begun her theological studies at CTS.


Perhaps slowly, but surely and even in the midst of difficulties, our church grew. By 1992, the congregation already had a leadership group, as well as its own constitution and regulations; That is why on August 8 of that same year, and after having submitted the request to the regional offices, during the regional assembly the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Indiana recognized our church as an established congregation, leaving to be a church in formation. After completing his seminary studies and having been ordained to the ministry, Rev. Parilla-Mena makes the decision to end his pastoral role at IHC at the end of the year to attend to personal needs and relatives. Although it was painful to see her go, as a church we understood her reasons. The years of 1991 and 1992 were not easy for our church, there were crises and changes, but even in the midst of it we managed to hold on to God's mercy and continue in the work that God Himself began. 


But, as that refrain says so well, "in struggles and trials, the Church keeps walking, it only stops to preach." In the midst of our pastoral transition crisis, God was already preparing one more servant. In the fall of 1994, Hipólito Velez, a member of our church and who during our hour of greatest crisis said “Presente!” with a word of hope and consolation, and who was studying at CTS, was willing to serve as pastor of our church. During the following years, our church experienced several moments of growth, but we also saw to share with some of our brothers and sisters who have sought a community of faith other than IHC. However, the work of God was still in His hands, and so “while they praised God and offered help to all the people. And daily the Lord added to the church those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). 


Thus, with the growth and stability of our congregation, in 1996, Hipólito Velez became the first full-time pastor that our congregation has had. Staying that way until 1999, when Rev. Velez is called to serve as pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Sinai, in Brooklyn, New York. That summer, as we watched our pastor leave for New York, God He was already preparing another servant to come and pastor our church, and precisely this servant would arrive from New York. After almost a year without a pastor, and having dedicated this time to discerning the leadership needs of our church for the future, the congregation calls Rev. Hilario Nuñez, Disciples pastor of the New York area, as their pastor, officially beginning in May. 2000. 


Over the years the congregation began to grow, and the need arose to carry out an in-depth study to possibly relocate the church to an area of the city that was more favorable and closer to where our Hispanic community lives. It was then under the leadership of Rev. Nuñez that after fourteen years of sharing a building with Northwood Christian Church, Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana relocated to Meadlawn Christian Church in the summer of 2006. In December 2007, For family reasons, Rev. Nuñez makes the decision to end his pastoral work at IHC. Once again IHC is facing a transition and critical period; however, we trust that since God began the work, it would be He Himself who would sustain us once again. Thus, in August 2008 we decided to call Rev. Luis E. Ferrer as interim pastor, being one of the founding members and remnants throughout the history of our church. 


In the fall of 2009, the congregation of Meadlawn Christian Church had financial complications to continue its ministry, and decided to end its activities that year; which led them to put the building they shared with our church up for sale. After a quick search for some space in which we could continue to meet as a church and cooperate financially to the best of our ability, the Glendale Christian Church congregation opened its doors to us that November. Aware that at the moment our location was not the most suitable, we continue to do ministry, trusting in the promises of our God, and willing to evolve and transform our ministry. While the initial plans were call Rev. Ferrer on an interim basis, his ministry sustained and guided us for a period of five and a half years; during this time his ministry helped us make sense of the transitions and  crisis we had experienced, and prepared us for new beginnings. After a period of discernment and honoring the need for Rev. Ferrer to retire from the ministry to dedicate himself to his family and take care of his health, in December 2013, our church called Rev. William A. Bauzó as pastor of our congregation._cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


Grateful for the hospitality of Glendale CC, and under the leadership and vision of Rev. Bauzó, we were aware that in order to grow we needed to locate ourselves close to our Hispanic community. 

By the moving of the Spirit, doors opened smoothly, and in the summer of 2014 our congregation moved to the West Side of town to share a building with Westview Christian Church. Rev. Bauzó's enthusiasm and energy, and perhaps his experience as a family therapist, revived the church, helped us heal wounds from the past, and empowered us to make crucial decisions looking to the future. Rev. Bauzó knew that in addition to localization, what could continue the growth of the church was to develop the ministry of worship and praise. Thus, in March 2016, as a church, we called Rev. Bere Gil Soto as minister of worship. Aware of the limitations that come with being a bi-vocational pastor, since the church was in a Crucial moment in which his availability of time could not meet the needs of the congregation, and also taking into account the needs of his family, Rev. Bauzó makes the decision to conclude his pastoral role in our congregation at the beginning of December 2017 .


Throughout the history of our church we have witnessed that God has sustained us in the midst of crises and transitions. After having received Rev. Bauzó's decision, and after a time of prayer and discernment, our board of officers decides to approach Rev. Gil Soto, who was already serving in our church as a minister of worship, and proposes that she be the one She will continue as our pastor. From December 2017 to today we have walked forward through the ministry of Rev. Gil Soto. 


Thirty years after its beginnings, our church continues to evolve, and in this short period under the pastoral care of Rev. Gil Soto we have experienced great changes in our identity and ministry itself. The approach and vision of our pastor is reflected in working together, believing that union is strength. As proof of this, we began to make alliances with New Creation Church (a Presbyterian congregation in formation and less than a mile away from IHC), and with other churches of various denominations present in our community. Thanks to this joint work, and the move of the Spirit, is that the pastor of New Creation Church, Rev. Hector J. Hernandez and Rev. Gil Soto begin to dream and seek ways to join forces beyond collaboration.  


It is so that after an intense process of discernment and planning, in January 2019 we received the members of New Creation Church as part of our family, and since then   we have become one more family strong, and our dreams have become even bigger. Although the numbers are not an absolute indicator, today our church has an average Sunday attendance of fifty people of different ages and diverse Latin American cultures, and if all of us who attend church were on a given Sunday, our sanctuary would have more of one hundred people. 


We thank God for each and every one of the pastors, congregational leaders, as well as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana and the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley for their support, and each and every person who during The last thirty years have forged and opened the way so that today we continue to tell this story of fidelity to what we call the Christian Brotherhood Church.

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