|Hispanic minister leaves Methodist Church|
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
With regret Pastor Cesar Duran preached his last sermon at Ebenezer Church at First United Methodist Church in Imperial the end of March.
Pastor Duran and his family had to return to Mexico due to some immigration problems. “I may have to remain here for six months or more while I await my hearing with INS and my green card,” he wrote to the congregation.
Pastor Duran had had a visa for five years, and had applied for his green card, but hadn’t received approval when his visa expired. He is now waiting for the green card approval.
“I have worked to rebuild the Hispanic ministry as it struggled with some internal conflicts. My focus was to establish a new leadership with a strong congregation.”
Taking over for Pastor Duran are the husband and wife team of Ricardo Mireles and Cristina Rodriguez, lay leaders.
Pastor Duran is mentoring the pair. “The plan is to be in touch with them all the time.”
He hopes to return to Nebraska when his green card is received. “I’m a Methodist Pastor and I will obey my authorities in Nebraska. I had a nice time in Imperial.”
Pastor Duran worked with churches in Piedras Negras, Monterey, Moncloba and Agua Prieta in Mexico and most recently in Dallas, Texas for four years.
He is now serving in his hometown church, St. Paul Methodist Church of Mexico, in Piedras Negras.
“For one side we are happy for the opportunity to be with the family, but for the other side we are sad because our wish is to be in Nebraska with you.”
He was at Ebenezer for 14 months, starting in January, 2008.