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Rahway Spanish Church Purchases Church Building

Story by Jim Greene
Published 4/5/2012

Under the leadership of Pastor Charles Gonzalez, the Rahway Spanish church recently purchased the Second Presbyterian Church. For over 20 years, the Spanish church had rented the building for their worship services. Then, through a series of miraculous leadings of the Lord, the Rahway Spanish congregation learned that due to declining membership, the Presbyterians were considering selling the historic building and merging with the First Presbyterian Church of Rahway.

They learned that the Presbyterians were planning to list the building for $1.6 million. However, the Rahway Spanish church only had about $300,000 in their building fund and could not qualify for a loan for the balance of the asking price. Before the building was officially listed on the market, New Jersey Conference, Rahway Spanish church and Second Presbyterian church leaders met and negotiated a reduced purchase price of $970,000. This reduced price still left a balance of about $700,000 that was needed in financing. Still, based on their tithe, the Rahway Spanish church could not qualify for a loan. However, God impressed the hearts of the Presbyterian leadership to agree to carry the financing of the balance of the price at an interest rate of only 4 percent!

The building (pictured) is historic and located in downtown Rahway across from the city hall complex. The sanctuary has a seating capacity of 600 and also has a large pipe organ that is fully functional. Because of the large size of the building, there are several other chapels and meetings rooms as well as a large kitchen and fellowship hall.

There are five other groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Feed the Poor and several other congregations) who also rent the building, thus helping the Rahway Spanish church to pay the mortgage.

Gonzalez Passes Away

Just months after securing their new building, Rahway Spanish members were saddened by the passing of their pastor on February 5. Pastor Charles Gonzalez’s (pictured) funeral service was held in the new church building. More than 500 people filled the newly refurbished sanctuary for the service. Although Pastor Gonzalez was able to attend the signing of the papers for the purchase of the building in December, his failing health prevented him from conducting the first worship service in the newly refurbished church home. Pastor Gonzalez leaves behind his wife, Tamara, daughter, Edith Crystal, and son, Carlos Daniel.