Church History

On October 13, 2013, El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th year of ministry in the city of Edinburg, Texas. We rejoice in God’s faithfulness throughout the years, along with the faithfulness of the many who served zealously in order to further God’s kingdom. A few of the many blessings we celebrate is having almost thirty persons who have pursued the calling to the ordained ministry, one of which went on to become the first Hispanic woman elected to the episcopacy. This church was recognized for being the only Hispanic Methodist congregation in the nation who is honored to have these distinctions.

In 1880, Rev. Juan Manuel De la Viña, a Methodist Circuit rider traveled by horseback along the Rio Grande establishing mission churches on both sides of the United States and Mexican border. He began meeting with his family and friends for worship in 1880 at Rancho Viña.

In 1908, the small group moved from Rancho Viña to Hidalgo, Texas and moved again to Chapin (now Edinburg), Texas where they continued to meet for worship in the homes of two brothers; Plutarco and Juan de la Viña.

In 1913, the faithful group of 30 moved out of the homes and began worshiping at El Teatro de Edinburgo. It was during this time that the group was organized as a United Methodist congregation and took the name of Iglesia Metodista Unida El Buen Pastor.

In 1919, the property where the church now stands was purchased and donated to the church. A wooden structure was placed on the property and used for worship.

In 1928, the 55 member congregation outgrew the original building and built a second wood framed sanctuary.

In 1949, the congregation had grown to 80 members who then developed a visionary plan to build a new sanctuary with a seating capacity of 340. One member is remembered for having said, “This sanctuary will one day be filled.”

In 1966, the Annex was built to provide a place for the congregation to enjoy fellowship and to hold Bible study classes for all ages.

In 2009, the Church embraced a new vision and chose to make major renovations to the entire church building in order to accommodate up to 500 people. Furthermore, surrounding properties were purchased for the future development of educational and recreational facilities.

Today, El Buen Pastor is a vital community of faith who study God’s Word regularly, worship weekly in person and online, and serve our local community, all for the glory of God!

El Buen Pastor’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the redemption and transformation of our local community through the ministries of nurture, outreach, witness, leadership development, and prayer. These ministries help edify and equip believers for service to Jesus Christ, in the church and in the world. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, El Buen Pastor helps people accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and instructs them to live their daily lives in light of their relationship with God. El Buen Pastor’s mission statement connects with, and helps fulfill, the global mission of the United Methodist Church: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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