Chicago Churches Lure Latinos with Marketing

March 22, 2005 by

Newsweek has an article this week covering churches in the Chicago area and how they’re catering to Latinos.

On the upside, several churches are finding success using marketing methods like direct mail and gearing programs for niche audiences.

On the downside, the infighting is pretty blatant:

From her perch at the tiny Iglesia de Dios Peniel, Pastor America Garcia eyes Rebano [Companerismo Cristiano—a Pentecostal church in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago—] down the street—where female congregants might sport tight pants and belly rings—with suspicion. The place is rife with “libertinism,” she says. “When people leave, they go to orgies, to movies, to dances!”

Rebano’s Lynette Santiago has heard all this before. Back when her parents led the congregation and replaced old-school coritos, or spiritual songs, with a salsa band, a disapproving pastor labeled her mother “the Devil.”

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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10 Responses to “Chicago Churches Lure Latinos with Marketing”

  • ANONYMOUS
    March 24, 2006

    I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE COMMENT YOU MENTIONED OF REBANO COMPANERISMO CRISTIANO. I THINK YOU GUYS SUCK OF WHAT YOU SAY OF THIS CHURCH. I PERSONALLY KNOW THE OLD PASTORS AND THE NEW PASTORS AND THEY ARE NOT ANYTHING LIKE YOU SAY. BEFORE COMMENTING ON SOME CHURCH YOU SHOULD CHECK THE CHURCH OUT FIRST AND ENTER TO SEE WHAT THE CHURCH IS REALLY LIKE. GOD BLESS YOU.
    SINCERELY,
    ANONYMOUS


  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    March 24, 2006

    Hey, I think your beef is with Newsweek, not us.


  • danny nieves
    April 5, 2006

    How dare you talk bad about el rebano. We are honor to have to pastor’s in Freddy and Linnette with the vision they have. They are truly people of GOD. I challenge you to visit our church on this Sunday, and see by yourself, what our church is all about.
    Danny


  • LOLY
    May 13, 2006

    I WOULD LIKE AGAIN TO COMMENT ABOUT THE STATEMENT YOU MADE ABOUT REBANO COMPANERISMO CRISTIANO, I LIKE TO MENTION THAT REBANO IS NOT AT ANY MOMENT A LIBERTINISM CHURCH, I’M ONE OF THE MEMBERS OF REBANO AND IS A GREAT CHURCH MINISTERED BY GREAT PASTORS AND GUIDED BY GOD. DON’T YOU DARE MENTION REBANO IS A BAD PLACE. PLEASE ASK AGAIN THAT PERSON THAT MENTION THIS COMMENT AND I INVITE YOU FREELY TO GO TO REBANO COMPANERISMO CRISTIANO AT ANY MOMENT AND SEE THE FOR YOURSELF THE MIRACLES AND HEALINGS THE LORD HAS MADE IN THIS CHURCH. GOD BLESS YOU AND HOPE YOU VISIT CHURCH AT ANY OCCASION.
    A SISTER IN CHRIST,
    LOLY ALBELO


  • Danny Albelo
    June 4, 2006

    Lamentable por demas el proposito de este web site. Mas lamentable aun el tema en cuestion. Personalmente conozco a miembros y hermanos de la iglesia Rebaño Compañerismo Cristiano y referencias de sus Pastores los cuales son integros y luchadores.
    Es triste que personas se presten para tan desagradable campaña de descredito, falsedad y murmuracion.
    Aun asi el amor de Dios alcanza a las personas que desean hacer mal.
    A los hermanos de Rebaño, adelante en Cristo. En el mundo tendreis aflicciones mas Cristo ya vencio al mundo. Como decia mi abuelo: “Al arbol que da buen fruto le van a tirar piedras y ramas para quitarles los frutos”.
    Con respeto,
    Danny Albelo
    Ministro Musica


  • person
    August 14, 2006

    I urge the media to interview the pastors and old members of this church. See how bad they have treated members who have chosen to leave the church. How these people are spoken badyly about and how friends are turned against them when this choice is made. Spiritual manipulation.It is big in latino churches if you can call them churches.


  • hector
    September 9, 2006

    I’d like to know how anyone can say such negative things about something they have never tried. Since I have started attending rebano my life has new perspective. I see things in a whole new way, life has new meaning to me. I pray more often, I treat my loved one with even more respect and even more important I have become a man of god. For someone to judge and to give their oppinion on a church they have yet to step foot in is like casting the first stone. But don’t worry we won’t cast back we will just get on our knees and pray and let the lord take care of those who judge.
    H. Nieves gonzalez


  • Omar Galarza
    March 2, 2007

    First of all, I think that it’s important to understand that spiritual manipulation is a big issue in a lot of churches, not only hispanic. Also, it’s important to understand that for everything there is a new a day, a new beginning. Rebano’s past might of not been perfect but it has definitely formed who they are now. I am a returning member of Rebano. I spent my childhood going to almost every service with my parents. Now after 10 years I am back and I still see a great church. I had the privilege of seeing the good, the bad and the ugly of the ministry when I was younger. Why privilege, because I was part of the perfecting process that only God can provide. Pastors Lynette and Freddie are serving this genereation with excellence! Praise God for them and this ministry-Omar
    We like Saul, have been given grace.
    We like David, can freely give it.
    Max Lucado


  • Rabbit
    September 23, 2008

    Let’s not use any strong words that might hurt anyone else who reads this post. Everybody is entitled to think, speak, comment, etc. I do believe Kevin that, If I am to comment about a church, Which in my case I would not, you should attend the church for a couple of months. This way you are able to gather information on what you see, not what you hear from other sources. I hope this helps…! God bless everyone of you.
    Kevin, hope to see you in heaven with Jesus.


  • Madelin Contreras
    October 16, 2008

    kevin, is that your name?? well i pray that by this time 2008 you have been born again, may God have mercy on your soul..let me share a bit of my testimony, i was raised in the church at the age of 18 i backslid, saying that i got very lost in this world , drugs , alcohol,downers, uppers you name it..its not until i hit rock bottom that i cried out to God, and my mom had been going to RCC and invited me, to make a long story short in this church that is a hospital for all sick people!! i came and my life!! was changed!! November 15, 1996 i was born again!! today my husband ex-gang banger from chicago, ex-heroin addict, we serve and are still part of this ministry today!! in Arlington Texas..God is a God of love and mercy,thank God for his mercy and grace!! RCC is a place open to all people, we are here to share the word of God and help families be restored,..be very careful when you stand and speak against people of God..in thesetimes that we live, the church! whether your pentecostal,luthern,baptist whatever, we are the body of christ we need to come together as one in the name of Jesus!! its time that churches come together and pray for one another. Our jobs as christians is to love and to spread the word of God!! he did not tell us to go around judging others..you know anyone can look holy,but when they open their mouth to speak you see whats in their hearts..i love my church and it hurts when people like you speak foolish things , it shows me obviously that you have been hurt probably by some church or somebody from the church..if you ever decide to visit us ask God to open your ears and your heart so that you can recieve the word of God so that your mind can be transformed by the power of God.., I cant change you or anyone else but The Word of God!! wow that my brotha will change your life forever, and at RCC is where i found that God.



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