Tampa Area Latino Church Reaches Out to Non-Spanish Speakers

March 3, 2002

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On March 3, 2002, The Tampa Tribune reported that "when leaders of Iglesia Roca de Esperanza began noticing more English speakers visiting the traditionally Spanish-speaking church, they knew they had two choices: ignore them or welcome them into the fold... So each Sunday, the church began providing interpretation devices for those who did not understand Pastor Jesus Romero's Spanish message. The electronic devices have an earpiece through which the user hears the service translated even as the pastor speaks... 'It's been very well-received,' said assistant pastor Bobby Rodriguez. 'The device is small enough so that it doesn't make people who use them uncomfortable'... Iglesia Roca is just one of several churches reaching out to non-Spanish speakers... That English speakers would attend a Spanish-speaking church comes as no surprise to Rodriguez. 'They like the style of worship we have,' he says. 'It's contemporary and upbeat, and we're very free with our worship. It's informal, but at the same time, we are very well-organized.'"