SMITHVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) by Eugene Adkins — A door was being opened that could not be ignored (Colossians 4:3). This was the way that the Smithville congregation in DeKalb County saw the unfolding events.

One congregation was sadly closing its door only to have the same door opened again in the form of a local evangelistic work within the Spanish-speaking community.

The Philippi congregation had been struggling for years with dwindling numbers. The remaining saints decided to relocate their membership to the Smithville congregation and then relegate control of the property to Smithville.

The Philippi church set certain non-negotiable conditions. Among these were that the building remain within the ownership of the church of Christ and that it was to only be used by the church in her efforts of promoting the gospel in whatever fashion presented itself.

Almost simultaneously the fashion was presented in the form of an evangelist, Roberto Garibaldi, who was seeking to move back to Tennessee after completing his work in Texas.

Garibaldi is no stranger to preaching the gospel to the Spanish-speaking people of Middle Tennessee. Having already planted an iglesia de Cristo in neighboring McMinnville, Warren County, Roberto and his wife Isabel were ready to knock on the doors of DeKalb County.

The Smithville congregation considered the opportunities, prayed about the needs that would have to be met, and contacted neighboring congregations. After increasing the number of supporting congregations to eight, Smithville decided to begin what will become, Lord willing, a new era for the gospel in DeKalb County.

The first Sunday for the new congregation was Apr. 20, after a weekend meeting held Fri. and Sat.

A video of Robert preaching the gospel (with his son, Robert Jr. translating) at the Smithville congregation to both the Spanish- and English-speaking brethren, prior to the start, can be viewed by clicking here.