COMPTON, CA (November 15, 2010) – When Ed Delgado, president of Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos (CHET), received the keys to the school’s new building during dedication ceremonies on Saturday, he replied, “May the doors be open to all people.”
The ceremony for the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) Hispanic training center embodied the increasingly vibrant mosaic of the Evangelical Covenant Church, reflecting the past, present, and future. To learn more about CHET and its ministries, click here for English or click here for Spanish.
Since its founding in 1989, the school has rented space from Primera Iglesia del Pacto in Bell Gardens. Increasing enrollment and the church’s needs for the current space necessitated the move. See additional photos below.
The building is located in a neighborhood that continues to change ethnically. It was constructed in the late 1950s as the Jewish Community Center of Compton. As the neighborhood has changed, so also have the building’s occupants.
The community turned predominantly African American, and the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) purchased the building in 1967. Grace Covenant Church – the first African American church in the conference – met there until 2008. Charter members Martha Bowers and her daughter, Mary Ann Owens, attended the dedication and shared some of its history.
The transition of the neighborhood has continued, and it is now 67 percent Hispanic, making it a great location for CHET, says President Ed Delgado. The school purchased the building earlier this year and classes started in September.
The school is serving people such as Karen Figueroa, who has taken classes at the school as well as taught, volunteered and served on the board. Four generations of her family attended Saturday’s ceremony.
Pete Alonso and Miguel Vela of SBG (Saved by Grace) Construction Inc., which led the months of remodeling work on the building, presented the keys to Delgado and CHET chairman Rich Martinez (accompanying photo). Alonso is a member of Rolling Hills Covenant Church.
Other attendees included North Park University President David Parkyn, former ECC President Paul Larsen, and former PSWC superintendents John Notehelfer and Evelyn Johnson. Johnson read a letter of greeting and presented a check from Covenant President Gary Walter. Also attending were Samuel Galdamez, president of Ministerios Hispanos de la Iglesia del Pacto Evangélico (Hispanic Ministries of the ECC), and Walter Contreras, conference director of outreach and Hispanic church planting. Members of El Encino Covenant Church led worship and assisted with other aspects of the program.