Manager welcomes Southern Baptist Sunday service there
When Adam Wiggins saw Luling, it felt like home to him, and by the next morning he and his wife knew what they were going to do.
“It felt like God was telling me it was good to connect to my home town and it would be successful because I could relate to the people so well,” Wiggins said.
This is why Luling become the location of their southern Baptist church, called One Church, and mostly because it reminded him of Baldwin, Fla. It also helped the decision when he saw his wife, Sabrina, had also wrote Luling on her note pad and then circled it.
“She already felt it was the spot,” Wiggins said.
The connection was instant.
“When we went to Luling, it’s like literally the same as a suburb of Baldwin … same size, same laid-back feeling and the people are the same,” Wiggins said. “We really related with Luling.”
Until then, the couple thought they were being called to the New Orleans area and had been looking at prospective locations there for months.
By August, the couple had moved to Luling from Jacksonville, Fla., and set out to grow their church and flock.
They officially started the church in October with Wiggins as pastor, and their handful of members meet at El Paso Mexican Grill on U.S. Highway 90. The restaurant lets them meet there at no charge. They meet every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
“Our goal is to be community focused … to love our community, serve them and help meet everyday practical needs,” he said.
This is not Wiggins’ first church.
He helped at a larger church in Jacksonville, which gave him direction on how to get this one started. He knew in Luling and the surrounding area that there are thousands of people already not going to church.
“There are many people with no religious affiliation,” Wiggins said. “This is true nearly every where. America is considered a post-Christian culture.”
Wiggins acknowledges the challenges of starting a church in these times.
“Our goal is to absolutely point people to Christ,” he said. “We want to bring people in by going out to them first. We need to meet and show them we love them. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
El Paso General Manager Hector Rodriguez said a friend of Wiggins made the request to use the restaurant as a meeting place to start their church and he was saw it as a way to help the community.
“I’m feeling good,” Rodriguez said. “I’m a good person and I try to help people. It’s no big deal. Maybe, one day they will help me.”
His wife, Pilar, agreed it was good to give them a place to get together and read the Bible.
At first, it was Wiggins, his wife and children who came to the restaurant. But she said their number has increased and the group has grown to several people.
“He is building his church,” she said. “And we’re providing a place that is safe.”
Pilar said they want to help
“We want to help the community when we can,” she said. “We have a lot of college students here as servers. We like to help.”