So today I was working on revising a project and thought it would be good to have a brief history of the church in said project, so this is what I wrote (with the help of a pamphlet from 1998 written by a former church member, Shirley Cloud):
THE STORY OF DEL SOL CHURCH
Who we are
In early 1979, the El Paso Baptist Association purchased some property at the intersection of Vista del Sol & George Dieter and partnered with Scotsdale Baptist Church to sponsor a mission church in this newly developing area of east El Paso, Texas. By February of the following year, this new mission now had a name – Vista del Sol Baptist Chapel – and now had a pastor – James Roberts, who served faithfully for several years.
Vista del Sol Baptist Chapel first started meeting in a home, and later met in several different locations – including a realtor’s office, shopping centers, and a middle school – until the summer of 1982 when construction on the original facility was finished. Two years later, the chapel became a full-fledged church and in the fall of 1984, Vista del Sol Baptist Church called Walter Mueller as their pastor and the church entered another building phase a year and a half later.
Since then, Vista del Sol Baptist Church has been blessed by God with steady growth numerically in attendance and membership, physically, as a few building expansions took place in 1989, 1991, and in 2000, and in influence in the El Paso community through many acts of serving the community by showing God’s love in practical ways.
In the mid 2000’s, the leadership of the church felt God prompting them to make some changes both in philosophy and methodology, and in the actual name and mission of the church. So in 2006 and 2007, some methodological changes took place and the mission statement of the church was changed from “Loving God and Loving People” to “Loving God, Loving People, and Serving the World”. In September of 2007, the church body voted to change the name of the church from Vista del Sol Baptist Church to simply Del Sol Church.
While Del Sol Church is still firmly committed to being a Southern Baptist Church, the name change was necessary to help eliminate the negative stigma that the term “Baptist” holds in the minds of some people, especially those from a Roman Catholic heritage, and to make the church more accessible to those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The FutureDel Sol Church is unashamedly an outward focused church, with a bent towards reaching outsiders who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and so in late 2008, the leadership of Del Sol made the decision to expand the influence of the church to other parts of the El Paso community by becoming a multi-site church.
In 2009, Ariel Martinez was brought on staff as the Campus Pastor of this second location, and the decision was made to launch the second campus in a rapidly growing part of far Northeast El Paso – the area north of Transmountain Road, specifically focusing on the North Hills area. This campus will primarily be a video venue, showing pre-recorded sermons, but will be fully functioning with kids’ ministry, small group Bible studies, and eventually, a youth ministry.
The future truly is bright for Del Sol Church.