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NA Church reaches Hispanics using 'Spanglish'


LOUISVILLE—As a "one-and-a-half generation Hispanic American" — one neither identifying as a first generation Hispanic American or a second generation Hispanic American–Anibal Figueroa feels called to reach out to those much like himself: Hispanics Americans, who although they may have been born overseas and immigrated young, feel a connection to their Hispanic heritage while being brought up largely culturally American.

Thus, he planted, Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) Church, or NA Church, a church dedicated to being bilingual and multicultural in east Louisville. The church started about four years ago, but in October 2017, it rebranded and relocated to the Kentucky Baptist Building. It meets on Sundays at 5 p.m.

The services are bilingual, sometimes even "Spanglish," as Figueroa described. While the sermons are spoken from the pulpit in Spanish, earpieces are offered to the congregation with real-time translation in English. Worship and videos are presented in English and Spanish. Because many couples attending are mixed English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, and because many of the those in his church identify with both cultures as well, he felt this was the direction to take the congregation.

The church makes the point to be bilingual, even changing their name from Iglesia Nuevo Amanecer to Nuevo Amanecer Church. Their social media as well is done in both English and Spanish. Even their signage is dual language. For example, upon exiting, attendees see a sign that says "Gracias, see you next week."

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