Santiago is a vibrant city with a a population of over five and a half million and an average age of just 30. The city centre in particular has a vast young population, with many thousands of people in higher education as well as workers and families, and a further 2 million people commuting in for work each day. There are over thirty universities composed of hundreds of thousands of students. It is an exciting place to live but there is an urgent need for more evangelical Christian witness.
‘Sent’ by La Trinidad Church, Cristóbal Cerón has planted an Anglican church in Santiago city centre in order to reach students, young professionals and others.
Iglesia Santiago Apóstol formally began in May 2011 with a congregation of 30. Since then it has grown and grown, with many people attending mid-week groups, Sunday meetings and evangelistic activities. The church is passionate about the gospel and reaching people in Santiago for Christ. They are strategically placed to reach many with the gospel and are determined to take every opportunity to proclaim Christ in Santiago, with a particular focus on reaching young Chileans studying or working in the capital.
Cristobal writes in October 2016:
"God has given growth to our local church. At the beginning of the year, we had an average attendance of about 60 people, but by the end of the semester there are about 80/85 people coming week by week and we grew from 4 to 8 small groups this year (in comparison with 2015). The growth has also been shown in character: there is a great number of people serving different ways and a Mercy Ministry that is very proactive and helping immigrants, homeless and people with mental illness."
Brought up in Santiago, Cristóbal became a Christian as a student. He is a natural evangelist with a huge passion for serving God. A former Crosslinks BEST Study Partner (George Whitefield College 2004-7), he loves seeing young people taught the gospel and then equipped for ministry. Alongside leading Iglesia Santiago Centre Cristóbal is in charge of National Gimnasio (a ministry training programme), teaches homiletics at the local Anglican Bible College, and leads Mouchile, a national evangelistic mission seeking to share the gospel with young people throughout Chile.
Cristóbal is married to Alejandra, and has three children: Belén, Jacinta and Amanda
Street evangelism in downtown Santiago