Pastor Gabriel Fabian recently came to speak at Campbell University's Religion Club touching the hearts of both the students and faculty with his life story and memories from this past summer's missions trip. A native of San Francisco, a tiny city in the Dominican Republic, Pastor Fabian only had his own two feet to travel to school which was over three miles away. Rising above his struggles, Fabian felt called by God to give his life over completely to the ministry. "I put all my life, all of me, into the offering plate," said Fabian. After arriving in the United States in 1993 to study theology, he began ministering to Hispanics in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. He founded the Hispanic Baptist Jesus of Nazareth Church and worked on the Massachusetts Educational Initiative for Latino Students, a committee aimed at improving bilingual education. After marrying and having three children, Pastor Fabian felt the need to return to the Dominican Republic to continue his ministry. He took over a church that had been established nearly 20 years earlier and even though trouble with gang members arose, people were welcoming to Pastor Fabian's message. He spread hope by visiting homes of handicap children and telling them about God's love. Since Pastor Fabian receives no monetary support in the Dominican Republic, Memorial Baptist Church of Buies Creek and Campbell University Religion Club have jumped at the chance to help. This past July, members from Memorial Baptist Church and Kennebec Baptist Church of Angier traveled to San Francisco to lend a hand. Tom Collins, a former employee of Campbell University was the primary organizer of the trip. Dr. Adam English, professor of Religion and Philosophy attended the trip and served as one of the teachers of Vacation Bible School during the day. "We had 60 kids at the beginning of the week and 300 by the end of the week," said Dr. English. "There were children in diapers all the way to teenagers. It was a great experience." At night, worship services were held at different, new churches that were being planted in the community. Although changes are taking place, the area is still poverty stricken. "We would consider the area to be very poor," said Dr. English. "But actually it is considered to be middle class. The church was fenced in to prevent burglary. It was a simple building." A return trip is being planned for this summer. Multiple churches are being invited this year to broaden the help base. Pastor Fabian is currently raising funds to purchase a building that is adjacent to their current church to build classrooms and daycare facilities. The money is well on its way to being raised with only around $12,000 remaining. For more information on the missions and ministries of Pastor Gabriel, contact Dr. Adam English of the Department of Religion, located on the third floor of Taylor Hall in Office 309. He can also be reached at Campus Extension 1679, or by email at [email protected].