New church in Lula dedicated to helping families

Pastor Samuel Samaniego believes the church is a place for celebrations. (Nora Almazan/Now Habersham)

“The purpose of all of this is to build stronger families,” Senior Pastors Samuel and Rosa Samaniego talked about the foundation of their ministry and why it is so important to the community.

“When we open the doors, we want to celebrate and love people,” Pastor Samuel added.

It has been one month since the new church started and already they are seeing changes in people and a growing congregation. Primarily Hispanic, the church offers opportunities for all ages.

Iglesia Bautista Fundamental Sendas Antiguas located at 7289 Belton Bridge Road, Lula, GA. (Nora Almazan/Now Habersham)

One of their strong suits is working with teens. The Lula Church called Iglesia Bautista Fundamental Sendas Antiguas is the second church Pastor Samuel Samaniego has started since moving from California several years ago.

He has been a pastor for over 25 years. Their church in Gainesville, GA, is located at 2344 Dawsonville Hwy. He has a goal of seven churches.

Pastor Samuel described the impact the church in Gainesville has had on young people. “We have brothers and sisters who are in the community working with teenagers who are in bad situations, gangs, and doing drugs,” he explained. “We open our doors and hearts to them. Giving them an alternative and the love of family, is the key and the testimonies are amazing.”

Activities revolve around good food and a lot of laughter. (Nora Almazan/Now Habersham)

During the interview, a young man was pointed out who had been in trouble, involved in gang activities, and struggling with life. He was restocking plates and napkins at the grill where delicious carne asada (grilled meat) was being prepared. The young man is off the streets now and comes to church regularly. Pastor Sam said the youth has committed his life to the Lord.

“We take our vans out into the communities and talk to people. We meet people where they are and help them to find a better way,” Pastor Sam said.

Something is going on at the church every day of the week. The new church in Lula is a mirror image of the Gainesville church. From marriage counseling, kid’s clubs, and youth activities to Evangelism, the Samaniegos are keeping very busy.

Families enjoy talking while their children enjoy activities. (Nora Almazan/Now Habersham)

The pastor of the Lula Church located at 7289 Belton Bridge Road is Pastor Pedro Guzman.

Already, the church has over 80 teenagers coming to youth activities. Members of the Lula and Gainesville churches dedicate their time to driving a van to pick up children and teenagers from their homes and bring them to the activities.

The day this Now Habersham writer was there, they were hosting a birthday party for a little girl in one of the families. I asked if they do this for all the children and Pastor Pedro smiled and said, “We are all family here. We celebrate people. So, yes! We do this for everyone!”

Celebrations are a part of the ministry of the church. (Nora Almazan/Now Habersham)

The ministry is seeing results. With the influx of immigrants and the growing Hispanic population in Lula, the church has been instrumental in bringing people together. Pastor Pedro and Pastor Sam stress that everyone is welcome! Translations are available.

For more information, please call the Gainesville location at 678-818-6829 or the Lula location at  678-769-6199


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