New Jersey Pastor Teaches Entrepreneurs

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For Guillermo Godoy, ministry means planting businesses as well as churches.

Godoy, a ministry associate, is pastor of Jesus Te Llama (Jesus Calls You) CRC in Paterson, N.J., where the population is 83 percent Hispanic and African American and the median household income is $10,000 below the nation's average.

Before Godoy was a pastor, he was an engineer and a consultant in his native Chile, with training in business and economics. When he saw that people coming to his church had a difficult time supporting their families, much less the church, he decided to help them do both.

He started with free two-hour lectures to the community, but that soon expanded to six hours of teaching on two consecutive Saturdays.

Now the course Godoy teaches lasts 48 hours and covers marketing, organization, business finance, accounting, legal matters, and tax issues. Although the membership of Godoy's church is 80 percent female, the majority of participants in his courses are male. This is the congregation's first outreach program that has been successful in drawing in men.

Nilo Dias and Mara Saldana, immigrants from Uruguay, attended the training and have started a photography business. They said that the church is very important to their family and that the community will be positively benefited by ministries, such as this one, that support the work force.

translation by Allie Meyaard


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