“If you could see where we came from, you’d see that God is working step by step,” said Rev. Enrique Sanchez, Pastor of Spanish Ministry, of the congregation he leads, who are now a worship community of The Woodlands Methodist Church.
Before coming to TWMC in January 2023, Enrique’s congregation moved from a small office to a rental space to a space in a church. They had a long journey before they finally settled into their worship space at TWMC.
Enrique himself has had a long journey as well. Growing up in Cuba, he attended a Methodist church there and worked as co-pastor. After that, he became a missionary in Cuba, establishing a mission there that eventually grew so much that it officially became a church.
When he left Cuba in 2006, he joined his pastor from Cuba in Florida, serving as youth pastor in his church from 2007-2014 before moving to Texas. In Texas, Enrique began the paperwork to become a licensed local pastor and started a church.
In 2021, Enrique and his congregation were faced with a problem — they had nowhere to worship. Through what Enrique considers a miracle from God, Rev. Jeff Olive, who was district superintendent at the time, contacted him and found the congregation a temporary home. Jeff also helped move along Enrique’s stalled paperwork to become a local pastor.
Now, not only is Enrique a licensed local pastor, but his congregation is at home at TWMC. And Enrique couldn’t be more excited about this partnership.
“Independent churches sometimes face dangers because the pastors think they are the owners of the church,” he said. “I’m not the owner of the church — Jesus is the owner. I prefer accountability and a partnership with other pastors, which TWMC provides.”
He’s also excited about what he sees happening in his congregation. “I see this congregation growing not only in number, but in service and in knowledge, preparing more pastors and missionaries. Now that we are here at TWMC, people in my congregation are starting to tell me about their passion for missions. I hope in the future to have people immersed in missions and pastoral ministry.”
Enrique and his wife, Dania, along with their children, Ana Elizabeth and Benjamin, live in Spring.