Barbacoa en LaFayette: LaFayette Latino Outreach Ministry hosts barbecue

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A crowd of community members gathered in the LaFayette neighborhood next to Handy Cemetery for a community barbecue on Saturday, which included fellowship, food and fun with a soccer ball. 

The gathering was hosted by organizers from the LaFayette Latino Outreach Ministry, an organization formed to help build relationships with the growing community of Latino and Spanish speakers in the area. 

Headed by Daniel Gonzàlez, known to the community as Pastor Daniel, the community event was an opportunity for families to come together to build relationships. Many children played soccer, jumped rope and colored with chalk together. 

Email newsletter signup

Gonzàlez is a leader of the Latino congregation at First Baptist in Opelika. During the barbecue, he said his goal was to help bridge the gap between LaFayette’s growing Latino community and share the gospel with them. 

“We try to see what God’s doing,” Gonzàlez said. “He’s working all the time.”

Gonzàlez also hopes to encourage better communication and connection between Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking community members. 

After working up an appetite at the soccer goal, the kids and their parents grabbed a hot dog or hamburger at the grill manned by local community members, including Fire Chief James Doody.

In fact, many local community leaders and city officials were present for the event, such as Interim Police Chief Captain Christopher Trice and Chambers County School District Superintendent candidate Sharon Weldon.

Merilyn Vines, of Vines Funeral Home, has also been a key part of the community involvement. Vines said the program doesn’t end with the barbecue. Southern Union State Community College is partnering with them to host a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) satellite course at the funeral home on B Street for the Latino community and anybody else interested.