Church fighting for the faith helps Latinos turn to Christ

Ben Greene

Pastor & writer

  • Missions

Carlos Dibaldi and Erika Perez say Latinos around Monroe, Washington, are locked in an uphill battle.    

Dibaldi is the pastor of Iglesia Cristo El Buen, which launched in September 2023. The church focuses on leading Latinos to saving faith through Christ alone.  

Perez joined the team, recognizing, “There are a lot of people that really need Jesus. They’re looking for God, but they’re not hearing the right things to do."  

Christianity has been presented to Latinos as a points system, Dibaldi said, where salvation is earned by being good and being part of the Catholic Church. As a result, Latinos do not fully understand the message of the gospel.    

“It is this fight between religion and Christ, and my constant focus with the Latino community is that Christ is sufficient,” he added. “The struggle to feel forgiven is very real. I went through it and Latinos go through it.”    

Dibaldi's discovery  

Dibaldi came to faith in 1991 after a season of seeking God and finding the Bible’s answers to his significant questions. He said God spoke to him and did great works in his heart and life.   


Somewhere along his spiritual journey, the Argentina native felt called to evangelism and, later, to church planting. He, his wife, Alicia, and their children have lived in Monroe, Washington, for many years.   

Related: God drew Argentinians to the U.S. and sent a team to Argentina’s least-reached people.    

‘Let’s move to Monroe’ 


Dibaldi described Monroe as a quiet town in the valley west of the Cascade Mountains. On the rare days when the valley’s clouds and rain disappear, he can see the tall, snowy mountains.    

More and more people are moving toward Monroe from the Seattle suburbs. They’re seeking a more affordable place to live. Many of them work at Boeing, Microsoft or other manufacturing and tech companies.  

The town of 20,000 has about 3000 Latinos. Dibaldi said many of them are from Mexico, although there has been a recent influx of people from other Hispanic nations.  

People in his community work a lot, he said, because the cost of living has tremendously increased in recent years. A house that was $300,000 when he moved there might now be $650,000.   

The disciples at Iglesia Cristo work for themselves or in trades such as heating and air conditioning, construction or landscaping. At least half are married with children, and most believers are 30 to 60 years old.  

A constant focus on creating transformation


Dibaldi desires to impart Bible truth that people understand and apply to their lives. So Iglesia Cristo El Buen added a Wednesday night discipleship class.  

“We want to see transformation,” he added.  

That’s Iglesia Cristo’s effort among the men, women, teenagers, children and young adults near Dibaldi’s and Perez’s homes. They and the launch team pray, serve and build relationships throughout the week. That creates opportunities on Sunday nights when families gather for worship, fellowship and growth.    

Perez’s motivation for Christ’s mission means she’s dedicated to helping people meet Jesus, read the Bible and find the answers they’re seeking.    

“They know they’re empty, but once they hear the word of God, I know they’ll be filled,” she said. “We’re excited that we started preaching to them how to get Jesus.”  

Yet Dibaldi knows what God has done in his heart — creating assurance of salvation — can happen for the thousands of Latinos near Monroe. That’s why he keeps preaching Christ so more people know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  

“My focus is constant,” he said. “If you accept Christ, you will be forgiven.”  

Converge’s 10 districts have committed to deploying 312 church planters before 2026. Read more inspiring church planting stories and learn about the goal to send out 312 church planters in five years.

Ben Greene, Pastor & writer

Ben Greene is a freelance writer and pastor currently living in Massachusetts. Along with his ministry experience, he has served as a full-time writer for the Associated Press and in the newspaper industry.

Additional articles by Ben Greene