The Gospel came to Quintanar at the end of the 1980s through the work of a Swedish Pentacostal Mission which decided to evangelise in Quintanar because of the historic Jewish influence in the city.
There was a twofold purpose to their work - at least apparently- that during the ensuing years they managed to get together a group of 120 people. At the end of the 90s that Mission decided to move its missionaries to Malaga and the work was abandoned.
It was in 2002 that Manolo and Toñi heard about the small group left behind and decided to visit them to get to know them. "I still remember", says Manolo, "the night that Toñi andI met them. An unforgettable night. We spoke to them for hours and we saw such a thirst to know more of God's Word, that we returned home having understood that the Lord was calling us to take on this church to lead it and teach it".
Then in 2005 a couple joined the Mission to work at Quintanar, but only stayed until 2009. When they moved on, Manolo again took on responsibility for the church.
A great reason for thanksgiving to God was that for nine years the local council in Quintanar gave them the use of a public room in which to hold meetings. But a greater reason for thanksgiving was the provision of resources so as to be able to have their own building where meeting and other activities were held. Much of this came from the generosity of brothers and sisters in the UK who were supporting the work in Quintanar.
In July 2014 the first phase of the Project was opened with a special thanksgiving service to which a good number of unbelievers from the town came.
The church does not have a pastor at present. However the church council have continued with the help of the Mission pastors, José Luis, Manolo and Sergio. Pepe (José) also made himself available to be on the rota of men who went to preach on Sundays.
God willing, after six months of the Quintanar church, FADE (Assemblies of God Family) and the Spanish Gospel Mission working together, we have arrived at a decision that the Quintanar church will no longer be part of SGM but will join the Assemblies of God. Throughout this time we have seen how the Lord was affirming each step taken and we feel unanimously that this is the way in which the church in Quintanar can now begin to go forward.
A message from the church Secretary, Vicente Guzmán:
"We wish to let you know that the Quintanar church is leaving the Spanish Gospel Mission to join the Assemblies of God in Spain, after seeking God's will in prayer for some time."
This change was confirmed at a church members' meeting on 12th January 2020.
The photos, bottom left and below, show the Sunday congregation in the room being used for the services and the room viewed from the back.
The main sanctuary is now finished, but so far only used for special events.
The name “Quintanar” comes from the Latin word “quintana” which means “farm house” whose residents had to pay in tax the fifth part of what they produced. The title “de la Orden” was given in the 12 Century as a privilege from the “Order of St James”. Quintanar is very old city, with a richness of cultures which have all left there mark even today. The discovery of the “idol of the Pradillo”, indicates that this city existed even before the arrival of the Roman Empire to La Mancha. In the Middle Ages, for a number of centuries Arabs and Jews lived side by side in this city. The narrow streets are a part of the old Jewish quarter as these surrounded the Synagogue.
In the 15th Century, with the expulsion of the Jews by the Catholic Kings, the Synagogue became the possession of the Catholic Church, which transformed it into a church to house the image of the “Mary of Piety” patron and protector of Quintanar. At the present time there is a population of 11,700 people in Quintanar of whom the vast majority are devotees of the image which they worship with dedication and respect. Together with the image of Mary , an image of lesser importance follows in the processions. This is the image of the “Holy Christ of Grace”, an image also worshipped but in a lesser way than the image of Mary.
When the descendants of Abraham arrived in Canaan to conquer the land, they found a land full of lifeless idols, which were worshipped with fervent devotion. This is exactly what we encountered in Quintanar – and of course, in every town and city in Spain – mistaken worshippers, praying and crying out to gods of wood and plaster which appear to have life but they cannot hear, nor see, nor speak; powerless idols the product of human imagination.
This is the religious atmosphere that is breathed in every home in Quintanar. As an illustration of that, we were distributing evangelistic tracts house to house, when one man when he saw the tract went back into his house and brought out a picture of “Mary of Piety” and exclaimed “This is what really matters. I don't want anything to do with anything else” and he slammed the door shut.