Discipleship (D-Groups) in Holtville, CA

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San Diego Southern Baptist Association leaders, Mike and Judy Carlisle, were recently invited by Pastor Richard Moore, and his wife Tammy of Trinity Baptist Church, to visit with their congregation to see what God is doing in their discipleship ministry.

Mike and Judy Carlisle arrived at the church at about 4:15 PM to find a group of leaders waiting for them in the church auditorium. Discipleship leaders Yolanda Ramirez, Timothy Luzeno, Gabriella Slaton, John Ming, and others, shared stories of discipleship. They shared how they witnessed amazing answers to prayer – a man on life support awoke from a comma after prayer for his healing. Another man, who appeared to be drowned after 10 minutes underwater, was rescued, prayed for, and revived.

Mike and Judy acknowledged how encouraged they were to see God so actively at work through the lay led discipleship ministry at Trinity Baptist Church. Mike and Judy shared how D-Groups are changing lives in San Diego where over 30 San Diego Baptist Churches are now engaged in D-Groups.

Following the afternoon session, the Trinity Hispanic Congregation provided dinner then gathered for an evening worship where Dr. Carlisle brought the sermon.

Since 1959, Trinity Baptist Church SBC has had a vision to be more than a refuge; it is to be a revitalizing community where all may be saved, healed, strengthened, and equipped to go into the world on an active mission for our Lord Jesus Christ. The church is located in Holtville, California a few miles from El Centro, CA.

Trinity Baptist's outreach extends beyond Holtville to Mexico and Latin America. Their outreach ministry includes church planting, evangelism, discipleship, radio programs, medical brigades, construction, hunger relief, orphanages and pastoral training in partnership with many other churches, ministries and individuals.

Mike and Judy were privileged to meet with the Hispanic congregation and hear testimonies of how they are replicating discipleship groups. It all began when Pastor Richard, originally from Tennessee, felt called to Holtville. He learned to speak Spanish so he could better minister to the Hispanic population which is second only to the Anglo population in Holtville. Holtville is about 10 miles from the Mexico border. Trinity Baptist Church has a strong sense of mission to reach out to Mexico.

One of the reasons Trinity is making such an impact is because Pastor Moore has a passion to equip his congregation by training to make disciples through D-Groups. He discovered a way to do D-Groups through materials of Pastor Robby Gallaty. Pastor Gallaty is the lead pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Recently, San Diego Southern Baptist Association invited Pastor Gallaty to San Diego where he did a Blueprint for Discipleship training session at Shadow Mountain Church in El Cajon. Pastor Richard Moore brought over 50 people from his church in Holtville to the training event.

Pastor Moore’s passion for Discipleship has now been caught by those in his congregation. They have started D-Groups of 3-5 people who meet together weekly to study the Bible and share their insights with one another. They spend time talking about their Bible study, memory passages, and what it means to them. Those enrolled in D-Groups experience the model and eventually replicate and start their own D-Group.

Each D-Group member keeps a HEAR journal. HEAR is an acrostic for Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond. In other words, they read a passage from the Bible every day and apply the HEAR process in their journal. When they gather for their weekly D-Group meeting they share their HEAR journal insights.

In Holtville, God is using Pastor Richard Moore and scores of his members who are now making disciples just as Jesus taught when he said, “Go and Make Disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19.

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