HOUSE OF PRAYER church is looking for a building someone wants to donate. Please call Rev. Felipe Hurtado, 466-2013, after 10 p.m.
A recent personals adClassified advertisements usually bring results, but the House of Prayer Church, a small Assembly of God mission of Spanish-speaking people, hasn't received an answer to its plea.
They still hope someone will respond.
The group of about 27 members, many of whom are elderly and live on low, fixed incomes, is looking for a Salt Lake area building that an individual or business would be willing to donate or rent for a reasonable rate.
"Most of the members of the mission are elderly. They don't have a lot of money, but they give what they can with a generous heart," said the Rev. Felipe Hurtado, a 23-year-old minister and Salt Lake Valley Community College student who heads the congregation.
Members of the church have been meeting during the past year and a half at the Central City Community Center, 615 S. 300 East.
"We have appreciated being able to meet there, but we would like to get established in a building more conducive to worship," said the Rev. Hurtado, who moved to Utah five years ago from Colorado.
He said the group, whose members pay a voluntary tithe (10 percent of their gross income) would welcome the use of a building that could be used as a religious chapel and that has space for a few classrooms. He may be contacted at 466-2013.
His father, the Rev. George Hurtado, a clergyman for 30 years and laborer for a contractor at Hercules, is the co-pastor of the church, some of whose members are from Guatemala and New Mexico.
His mother, Prescilla, is the church secretary.
"When my father preaches at the church, I interpret for him in English," said the younger minister, referring to English speaking individuals who also attend church services.
The House of Prayer Church is one of a handful of Spanish-speaking Assembly of God groups in Utah. Others are in Brigham City, Ogden and Price. Spanish-speaking members of the church total about 1,000 in Utah. The Rev. Hurtado said he doesn't know how many English-speaking members attend services in the Beehive state.
The Assembly of God had a small mission at Del Norte, Colo., where many of the members worked in the mines. But when the mines closed about four years ago, most of the members moved to other locations.
"One of the brothers from the church in Utah invited us to come here. We were happy to come to work for the Lord in Utah," said the Rev. Felipe Hurtado.
The young minister, who attended a private school, the Jesus Center, in Denver for three years, said his group began holding services in Escalante Park, an apartment complex at 1024 N. Redwood Road, later moving to a barber shop when its members couldn't all be accommodated at the first location. Some services are still held at 7 p.m. Fridays on Redwood Road.
On Sundays, members meet at 10 a.m. for Sunday School and at 5:30 p.m. for an evening service at the community center.
The Rev. Felipe Hurtado, who graduated from Ogden's Ben Lomond High School and who is studying computer science and math at the Salt Lake college, said he, his father and others are trying to respond to their members' physical and spiritual needs. One member of the church, a woman in her late 70s, died recently. The minister was involved in planning her funeral and attending to her family's needs.
"It is important to reach everyone - young and old. We try to give everyone an opportunity to participate in our services. The elderly have just as much an opportunity as others to express themselves," the Rev. Hurtado said.
The minister expressed concern for the welfare of young members of the church and for those in the community who belong to no church, who are having difficulties in their families, in school or those who might be breaking the law.
He said he appreciates the support and counsel of his father in his ministerial duties.
The Rev. George Hurtado said he believes he and his son are engaged in the greatest work in the world.
"It is the greatest work because we are preparing people to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The things of this world are only temporary. We are teaching them to look for the things of God because the things of God are eternal," he said.