God has called every church wherever He has placed it to find out where He is at work and to join Him in that work. In 2004, God led Bernie Jernigan to be the senior pastor of Open Door Baptist Church in Culpeper, VA. When God led Open Door to partner with the SBC of Virginia in 2010, little did they know how they would be used to “open doors” for the sake of the Gospel. God has used this church to partner with SBCV church planters from the Congo, the Philippines, China, Eritrea, and El Salvador to reach the nations in Northern Virginia with the Gospel.
Reaching Hispanic Nations
Prayers had been prayed for many years that God would bring an evangelical Hispanic church to Culpeper, VA. The Lord had plans to use Open Door to reach the Hispanic nations that were already their neighbors.
Around 2020, Pastor Jernigan requested from the SBCV a demographic study of the Culpeper community. His eyes were opened to see that the fastest growing people group in his area was Hispanics. Jernigan stated, “While I was in Dallas, Texas, the church I pastored while in seminary started an outreach to the Hispanic community. I have always had a heart for them. It was at that moment in 2020 that I knew we were being invited by the Lord to join Him in planting a Hispanic ministry.”
In 2021, Pastor Jernigan approached the SBCV with a vision to see God plant a Hispanic church in Culpeper through Open Door Baptist Church. In early 2021, SBCV church planting strategist Raúl Santamaría challenged Jernigan to “pray that God would send the man to be the pastor of this plant.” The church began to pray, and in May of 2021, Santamaría told them God had provided Reynaldo Quintanilla.
Soon after, God invited Open Door to walk further in faith. “The next step came unexpectedly,” shared Pastor Jernigan, “when the Lord challenged Open Door to become the supporting church” for this new work.
Jernigan continued, “The church has responded and stepped forward with all that we need to meet this adventure and plant the Hispanic church.” Open Door Baptist Church is now supporting Pastor Reynaldo Quintanilla and Iglesia Vida (Life Church) financially, missionally, and with the use of its facility.
A Beacon of Hope
“Our vision is that Iglesia Vida would one day grow strong and be a beacon of hope to the Hispanic people,” expressed Jernigan. “We are also ready to utilize the Bible Training Center for Pastors and Laity (BTCP/L) curriculum to train Hispanic pastors in order for them to be available to plant other churches who are sharing this burden. The Lord has already opened a door of evangelism for Reynaldo at a local farm where he shares a devotion and food boxes.
“The Lord has answered our prayers on a place for the Quintanilla family to live, a home they moved into in January. It is obvious that God is on the move.
Our continued prayer is that other SBCV churches would not let us go at this alone and would come and partner with us through financial and prayer support.” ■