The Apostolic Renewal Church formed in the year 1973 under the leadership of Pastor Reyes Ortiz and his wife Beatriz. They were called by the Council of Churches in the city of Patterson, New Jersey, where they were pastoring a Baptist church.
Pastor Ortiz began meeting in his apartment. After one year they moved to a chapel that the Alden Baptist Church lent on State St. The church decided to join American Baptist Churches (ABC-USA). They named themselves the Christian Biblical church and it commenced with 12 members.
In 1987 Pastor Ortiz decides to retire, and his church, through their denomination, contacts Pastor Rafael Osorio, and invites him to be their next pastor. On October 6 1988, Pastor Osorio, his wife Loyda, and his two children, Idaelis and Rafael Luis move to the city of Springfield from Puerto Rico, where they had been pastoring for the last 12 years.
Even with the changes that they had to face during these years, the church began to grow numerically. The Osorio Pastors took on the task of praying, inviting, organizing, preparing leaders and preaching an anointed and powerful word. The first leaders that were prepared captured the spirit and vision that the Lord had given to the Osorio Pastors, and they united to work hard and to pray diligently.
God honored the dedication, effort, and obedience, and the church began to grow from a few to 50, then 100, then 150 people with attendance of 70 active members. The growth was seen in the finances, the ministries, and the enthusiasm. The church grasped the vision of God for the Pioneer Valley.
The church established the name “Hispanic Baptist Church”, acknowledging the Baptist affiliation and the focus on serving the Hispanic community in the city. New ministries were developed in those years such as “Open Pantry”, Children’s ministry, Youth, Women, Men, Couples, and a Biblical institute called CLET as a part of the Theological School of Andover Newton.
Later on, the church adds the name “Renovation” due to a series of messages and bible studies given by Pastor Osorio and the great results that it had in the families. This name was adopted as part of the mission of the church, and the eagle as its symbol.
A SHIFT TO THE APOSTOLIC
By 1999, the church experiences another renovation, but this time in the apostolic and prophetic movement. The church was called and confirmed to be a mother church that would give birth to many daughter churches, and the Osorio Pastors are called to the apostolic movement. This was a process that involved searching, prayer, orientation, and teaching. The church moves in obedience to the new stage, and from there comes the current name: Apostolic Renewal Church. Many servants of God have helped in the transition of the church to allow it to be done in order, biblically, and without extremes and limiting negative impact wherever possible. Servants such as Hector Torres, Alberto Guerrero, Yanira Gonzalez, Mercedes Feliciano, and Dr. Remedios among others.
The church began to evangelize in the nations starting first with the Dominican Republic and Peru. After various yearly evangelistic trips, the Apostolic Renewal Renovation Network (RIAR) is formed, where the Osorio Pastors are presidents, and are named as apostles of the Lord.
Currently, RIAR has 27 churches in 6 countries, of which 10 are daughter churches.
RIAR covers more than 50 ministers of the Lord, and in conjunction with the ministry of Dr. Raul Zalvidar and Apostle Dr. Alberto Guerrero they offer the University for Leaders (UPL- a practical theological school for leaders and pastors, to minister in this new millennium) in association with the Evangelical Seminary of Honduras.
With the apostolic assignment, the church opened up to the apostolic and prophetic government, spiritual paternity, spiritual covering, spiritual warfare at the city level, integral prosperity (Shalom), sowing and reaping, generational thinking, and much more.
Currently, there is a church in Springfield, MA that has regular attendance of 500 people, with many children, youth, and adults; families that come, not only from Puerto Rico, but from Dominican Republic, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama. The church is also operating at the bilingual level, with African-American and Anglo-Saxon members. Every Sunday is a celebration of worship, a powerful word and prophetic ministration. There are conversations, discipleship, healing, liberation and testimonies of changed lives.