Amid changes in its ministry, Trinity Presbyterian Church in the Free Home community is welcoming an interim minister to take the helm of its services.
The Rev. Tino Ballesteros has temporarily replaced the previous pastor, the Rev. Greg Moore, until a permanent replacement is found.
“When a church is without a pastor, it goes through a period of uncertainty, (asking questions such as) who will be the next pastor, what are we going to do in the meantime, how are we going to survive? So leadership is a big thing when a church is without a pastor,” Ballesteros said.
The reverend is up to the challenge, though.
He is whole-heartedly embracing the opportunity to lead the church’s worship services.
“I am delighted with everything about Trinity Church — the people, its location and the ministry that extends to the community,” Ballesteros said. “It’s really a joy for me to be with them.”
He hopes to maintain the church’s stability and serve as a smooth transition while the church’s Elders find a long-term pastor.
“My first task as an interim is to provide the worship services safely so that the church will be stabilized,” Ballesteros said.
During his services, Ballesteros tries to foster an environment that encourages a deep sense of worship of the Gospel.
The reverend mentions the focus of his services: “Proclamation of the Gospel, the prayers of God’s people, group-read hymns, and also a sense of binding ourselves to one another.”
Ballesteros also said the church’s elders want to work with him on implementing a new community outreach program.
Especially targeted for the outreach program are home-bound seniors. Services would include providing transportation to the church for worship services.
“We’re initiating a program for that as we speak,” Ballesteros said.
Another program that the church already provides is a community center in the gymnasium adjacent to the church.
“This is a very successful program,” Ballesteros noted. “There are many girls and boys basketball leagues and a Boy Scout troop that come and utilize the gymnasium. On Saturdays, if one was to drive over there the parking lot would be full with families watching their children.”
Awards are given out to Boy Scout participants during a barbecue gathering with family and friends.
The church also reaches out to regulars who stop by the church.
“Every Saturday, a whole stream of cyclists go by there and the church offers them water and restroom facilities, and it’s just a wonderful outreach to the community for such a small church,” Ballesteros said.
With the short time the reverend has been with Trinity Presbyterian, he already admires its work as an important contributor to helping the community.
“When you see all of that activity going on, with the church serving as a provider of space that welcomes, it really packs a big wallop for a little church,” he says.
Somewhat secluded, the church is positioned among a beautiful area with horse farms and cattle around it.
“It’s just beautiful rolling hills where the church is located,” Ballesteros says.
Ballesteros is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Bob Jones University and Columbia Seminary. He has pastured churches in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
He has also served as delegate and moderator to the Presbyterian Presbytery and Synod governing bodies. He served as chair of the Georgia Council on Church and Race and was the first Mexican/American to be nominated in the Presbyterian Church USA as moderator for the church’s governing body, the General Assembly.
The church is located in Canton at 1136 Trinity Church Road and can be reached at (770) 819-7446.