About this partnership
The partnership was developed in 2005 with La Viña de Mayaguez, pastored by Marvin and Carmen Suarez.
The church that originally sent them out to church plant, Ft. Collins Vineyard, Colorado, was also one of the original churches. After Mayaguez, the Metro Vineyard in San Juan was started by Ed and Pam Chilcott. They had come on a missions trip and immediately felt a call to church plant an English-speaking Vineyard among expatriates. Today, Metro Vineyard is a bilingual church pastored by Carlos Morales and his wife Carmen Gutierrez. Another church was started two years ago by Ed and Alice Colon in San German. This is located on the Southwest coast of the island. After going on many Missions trip with Ray, Lou and Ann Irizarry sensed God's call to leave Tampa and move to Aguadilla to plant a church. Lou has already moved in to the community and has begun to seek ministry opportunities. After school is out, Ann will join him along with two of their children.
The Partnership has worked with the local leaders to provide conferences and mission opportunities for mainland U.S. churches via short term missions. We have helped with leadership development by helping to scholarship leaders and potential leaders to Regional and National Vineyard conferences and retreats. We have had up to eleven people at one time come to conferences. The Partnership has also helped with start up costs for the church plants as well as some monies to offset the rent on properties they have been able to use to expedite the development of the church plant in their communities.
Currently, Marvin is working with Homero Garcia to develop curriculum for La Viñas in the U.S.
Population: 3.6 million
Number of Vineyard Churches:
Primary Religion: Roman Catholicism
Ave. Education: 15 years
About Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory with a landscape of green mountains, waterfalls and the tropical rainforest of El Yunque National Forest. It's known for its white-sand beaches and coral reefs, popular for snorkeling, diving, surfing and sailing. Many Puerto Ricans sought jobs on the US mainland. Unemployment reached 16% in 2011 and has since declined to 13.7% in December 2014. Closing the budget deficit while restoring economic growth and employment remain the central concerns of the government. The gap between revenues and expenditures narrowed to 0.2% of GDP in 2014, although some analysts believe that not all expenditures have been accounted for in the budget. Public debt rose to nearly 94% of GDP in 2014, the equivalent of $15,600 per person, or nearly three times the per capita debt of the State of Connecticut, the highest in the US.
Ray pastored in Chicago, Illinois for 28 years, before he and Teresa moved to Florida. They have been married for over 42 years and have five children. He has worked with other Vineyard pastors and leaders throughout the years in the Latino Task Force, the Multi-Ethnic Task Force, currently Puerto Rico Partnership leader, and Mentor Coach with Missions. He was recently asked to start another Partnership for La Viña USA. He received his D.Min. in 2011.
Missions groups are always welcome. The Partnership is planning two conferences a year in Puerto Rico. Michael and Brenda Gatlin recently went to P.R. where Michael spoke at a leadership conference and Brenda preached in one of the churches. Volunteers for Summer youth camp is also an opportunity for young adults. Other needs can be shared with anyone interested.
Consider joining our partnership by clicking the link atop this page. Together we can impact Puerto Rico for generations to come.