Religion feature: New pastor joins Iglesia Boutista Belen

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Bene and Terri Fasanando recently moved to Clovis when Bene accepted the position of reverend at Iglesia Boutista Belen. Sunday at 3 p.m. a special service will be held welcoming him as pastor.

Sharna Johnson

In his role as new reverend of Iglesia Boutista Belen, Benedicto “Bene” Fasanando hopes to continue the work being done to serve the Hispanic community in Clovis and surrounding areas.

During a special welcome ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday, Fasanando will be installed as pastor of the Hispanic Baptist congregation.

With an approximately 50-person membership, Iglesia Boutista Belen serves a blend of Spanish speaking and bi-lingual parishioners, offering Baptist services in Spanish.

“It’s a wonderful congregation and we feel blessed coming into it,” said his wife Terri Fasanando, acting as his translator.

“He wants the church to be like a refuge.”

Fasanando said he hopes to bring the church, “motivation for growth,” something he said the congregation has already begun prior to his arrival.

One of the areas he plans to focus on is ministering to outlying communities.

“Our focus will be those Hispanics that live here and in surrounding areas,” he said.

“Every person who comes to the church will be welcome and they will find a place of comfort and peace.”

For the past couple of years, pastoral duties at the church have been shared among visiting pastors, Terri Fasanando said. Pastors from the community and outside the area have taken turns conducting services and keeping the congregation active.

Coming from Mora, she said Fasanando performed as a mission outreach pastor for the Mora Valley Baptist Church, working with Hispanic members of the congregation there.

A Peru native, Fasanando said he comes from a family of pastors and followed the tradition of his father and brothers.

Beginning at age 15, he started attending seminary after school in the evenings, and completed his religious studies at 18, taking on a job as a youth pastor in Lima, Peru.

The couple met in Peru when Terri Fasanando, a Dallas native, was there doing Baptist mission work with Chinese immigrants.

The Iglesia Boutista Belen has been in Clovis for about 15 years and is located at 820 N. Reid.

Terri Fasanando said the congregation has a blend of families, single members and offers youth and children’s programs.

Services are held Sundays, with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Bible study classes are held at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Information: 762-6588 or 219-4643