Pentecostal Church of Chile
(Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile)
The Pentecostal Church of Chile was founded in 1945 by Bishop Chavez, who came out of the Methodist Pentecostal Church. Its headquarters are in Curico, about 200 kms south of Santiago. The growth of the church has been the result of an intensive evangelistic campaign, especially among the working class and marginal groups, and the poorest sectors of society. Labourers who flocked from the countryside to the cities responded to the church's transforming message. The church proclaims and lives by the power of the Holy Spirit whose presence is felt among the faithful in different ways. The church is also open to cooperation and communication with other churches and religious organizations. The Pentecostal Church of Chile is governed by the general assembly which elects an executive committee of twelve members (Directorio). Pastors are nominated by an executive committee and installed by the bishop and the president.
The church faces many challenges. The education of children, youth and adults is a priority. The younger generation in Chile is poorly educated. Adults need a clear vision of society in order to search creatively for solutions to the problems faced by the nation. The Christian community needs to be strengthened by a sense of solidarity. Different congregations and organizations of the church have participated actively in developing and maintaining ongoing social and educational projects amongst the most needy of the community. Local projects include, for example: a home to care for the elderly, lunch rooms for the children of poorer families, practical workshops to instruct women in health, nutrition, and home-based industries, and programmes to empower youth in developing their leadership skills and gifts. Most recently, the Pentecostal Church of Chile created the Shalom Centre as a holistic programme integrating environmental education, conflict transformation and peace education, and spiritual development strategies.
The church is also committed to Christian unity. It is convinced that only a united church can tackle the social, economic and spiritual problems of the nation. In Chile, churches are finding new ways of working together not only to evangelize but also to shine with the light of hope, joy, and peace, bringing the gospel to life in many practical ways among those in greatest need.