The Multiplying Matters award is intended to lift up congregations that are modeling the practices that the Dakotas Conference encourages for our churches that are reaching out and making new disciples of Jesus Christ.
This year the Award goes to Pastor Herman Perez in partnership with Pastor Charlie Moore and Sunnycrest United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Pastor Rodney Knock and the United Methodist Church in Plankinton, South Dakota.
Together these leaders share a multi-cultural vision with an evangelistic heart and are multiplying disciples through new congregations in Sioux Falls and Plankinton. Pastor Herman brings an expanding vision for evangelism and discipleship that is significantly enhanced through the affinity and vision he shares with the pastors and leaders at Sunnycrest and Plankinton.
At Sunnycrest UMC, a Hispanic worship service has blossomed into an evangelistic multi-cultural ministry. The leadership team at Sunnycrest UMC has been praying about inviting new, diverse people to know Jesus. Pastor Herman Perez walked into the door one day. He asked Pastor Charlie Moore, who serves at Sunnycrest UMC, to find a home for a worship service for the Hispanic community in Sioux Falls at Sunnycrest.
“Our church is looking and feeling different,” says Pastor Moore. “On our walls, you will find the word Bienvenido, or 'welcome' in Spanish.”
There are currently five worship services at Sunnycrest: two Hispanic services, two contemporary services, and one traditional service. The congregation is creating small groups that reach across cultures.
“The Lord guided us here and works in wonderful ways,” says Pastor Herman Perez, who started as a volunteer and is now a salaried pastor leading ministry at Sunnycrest in Sioux Falls and at Plankinton.
Each week Perez travels to Plankinton, South Dakota. He spends time meeting people, making connections, and building relationships.
Pastor Rodney Knock, who serves the United Methodist churches in Plankinton and White Lake, invited Perez to Plankinton after discovering a Hispanic population that needed to be served.
“People need to know about Jesus wherever they are and connect with each other and God,” says Pastor Rodney.
Pastor Herman could not agree more, adding, “People are excited to connect and know God. God is the center of everything.”