Did you know that Christ the King Church Planting Center offers an apprentice program to provide training and experience for men and women interested in ministry? Rev. Omar Ortiz visits seminaries around the country to share CTK’s vision and to talk with those who are interested in church planting or other ministry opportunities. Here is a story by the newest intern to join the program, Angel Garcia.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, with my mom, sister, and small chihuahua/jack terrier named Blanqui (“Whitey” in Spanish). Nearly every summer, my family would visit Puerto Rico to see my extended family. Although there is some variety in commitment to Christianity within my extended family, for most the part, I grew up in a nominal Christian home. I eventually became a Christian while attending Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. My coming to faith was the primarily the result of interacting with another student, the son of a pastor, at an internship at Case Western Reserve University, and reading the Bible. During the time when I became a Christian, I quickly started attending a church and joined a Bible study group at my university.
Shortly after graduating, I joined the staff of the Bible study group that I attended at Brandeis and began doing other types of ministry at my local church. I had graduated college with intention of going to medical school but decided to take a couple of years to think through this decision and worked doing research at a hospital in Boston in the meantime. During this two-year period, my experiences at local churches, including the ministries I was involved in, began to bear fruit to a growing desire for pastoral ministry. Eventually, through the encouragement and support of friends and my local church, I began studying at Gordon-Conwell Theological seminary, with the intent of pursuing pastoral ministry as a vocation.
It was at Gordon-Conwell where I met Pastor Omar Ortiz, the Leadership Development Director at Christ the King. Knowing that I wanted to participate in a pastoral internship after graduating from Gordon-Conwell, in order to further my preparation for pastoral ministry, I was excited to find out that Pastor Omar and Christ the King had an apprenticeship program available for seminary graduates. The program integrates practical ministry training at a local Christ the King congregation, along with leadership development content and training. As an apprentice with Christ the King, I will be serving at Christ the King West Roxbury/Roslindale (CTK RWR) with Pastor Bryan Loney, where I will learn to help with the execution of Sunday services, assist in leading worship, preach occasionally, and be involved in the development and implementation of the church’s outreach initiatives.
I look forward to assisting with the ministry at CTK RWR. I also anticipate that this apprenticeship will provide clarity in my calling to pursue full-time vocational ministry. I am excited about how I will be able to come alongside my fellow church members to bless the communities of West Roxbury and Roslindale. Doubt and anxiety often creep in when I tempted to fixate on my competency for pastoral ministry, but I have already been greatly encouraged by the prayers and support of my brothers and sisters at CTK RWR. I believe that we have a shared sense that God desires to do some great things for His Kingdom in our communities, and I look forward to how I can be of use for God’s purposes during my apprenticeship at CTK RWR, along with learning and being trained to serve Him pastorally, beyond my time as an apprentice.