Wednesday – Apopka

Florida trip 7 001

Trees covered with flame vine

Today we went to Apopka, Florida to visit the Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer and its leadership.  Traveling in Florida is exhilarating. Words fail, so I am glad to compose this at home where inserting pictures is easier.

The church at Apopka was founded by Wilson Reyes an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.  Before his conversion he was a secretary to a president of that country.  But conversion led him into the ministry. Ambrosion Encarnacion led him to the Mennonite Church.

The remodaled building

The remodaled building

When he needed a place for his group to worship he found an unused building owned by a dwindling group of aging legionnaires who agreed that he could use the building if he kept it in repair.  The legionaires reserved the right to meet in it once a year.  Eventually they sold it to Reyes.  The building has been remodeled into the church it is today.  Much of the first work was done by Mennonite Disaster Service workers from Sarasota.

Florida trip 7 014

The worship team in practice

The first person we met was Eligio Nunez who is co-pastor and worship leader with his wife Juanita Nunez.  I first met Juanita as secretary to her uncle Wilson who was the founding pastor Reyes.  She gradually was given more responsibility until she even did the work of a pastor.  But she would not accept credentials until her husband gave his life to the Lord. Wilson is now retired in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Juanita and Eligio Nunez

Juanita and Eligio Nunez

Our first privilege in Apopka was to listen to the conversion story of Eligio.  Now he and Juanita are co-pastors.  Juanita has had leadership roles among  the Hyspanic Mennonite women.  She told us she will likely decline reappointment because the church in Apopka needs her as a pastor.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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2 Responses to Wednesday – Apopka

  1. Hello, I am very sorry for the misinformation about your father. I am glad he is alive. I now live in Goshen, Indiana, which is north of Indianapolis. I hope sometime that I might be able to visit him. This comment is available to readers, and I am in the process of making a correction in the original post. – Martin Lehman

  2. Wilson Reyes says:

    Hello. I appreciate your story about my cousins and about the church that my father founded but my father is alive and well in Indianapolis, Indiana. He may have Parkinsons but he is alive. I will be going to see him tomorrow. I was shocked to see this story. If you could please change that in the story, I would greatly appreciate it. I am not angry or anything, trust me, but he is my father.

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