Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Photo of Tony Liriano by Jorge Pilco

VIDEO: In God’s Time

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos by Jorge Pillco

For years Tony Liriano had the dream of starting and leading a new church. Tony and his wife, Maria, were excited for the opportunity to plant a church and spread the gospel in Garfield, N.J. Since starting the project more than a year ago, Tony, who leads the New Jersey Conference church plant as a lay pastor, reports a membership growth from 10 to 60 people. Members faithfully invite friends to attend, gather for a weekly prayer session and help to reach those who don’t know Jesus. A family of six started attending the church after Tony greeted them on the street and invited them to attend. Maria says the key to their growth is the family environment and members who “act like Jesus and don’t judge.”

One of the new members, Sammy Liriano, was already family. Sammy and his best friend had left the church he grew up in, but started attending the Garfield plant because of the warm, accepting atmosphere. “We feel like Garfield was opened for us. … We both went through tough times, asked God for help. For Him to guide us and open a church for us ... was an answered prayer,” says Sammy.

Maria and Tony say they were happy their son returned to church, but not surprised. “It was an answered prayer [to have their son come back]. I knew he would come back because I was praying for him. When someone prays, prayers are answered—in God’s time, not ours,” says Maria.

Read this article in Spanish.


Read and share these stories from the March 2018 Visitor:

Add new comment