Savannah Pastor Rafael Reyes is on a mission to improve and strengthen marriage in particular and families in general. Last month, he and his wife, Pastor Aida Reyes, hosted a one-day bilingual marriage enrichment seminar entitled “2 Plus 1” at a conference center on Savannah’s Southside.
“We focus on family restoration,” Reyes said. “There is an old saying but it’s very true- ‘If Mama ain’t happy, nobody is happy’. The wife and mother is the center point of the home and the Bible gives us perfect guidance on how a God-centered marriage leads to a happy home.”
Reyes was born in the Dominican Republic but lived in New York and Massachusetts for 30 years before moving to Savannah in late 2015. He’s been pastor for 20 years.
“I was pastor of a non-denominational church in Worcester, Massachusetts,” he said. “One of my daughters is married to a soldier stationed in the military in Savannah so last fall I came down to visit and to lead a marriage enrichment seminar entitled “The Fireproof Covenant”. Then my wife and I moved here in December and started the “Dawn of Faith and Glory” ministry.
While it’s true that New Testament scriptures in Colossians and Ephesians call for “wives to submit yourselves unto your own husbands”, Pastor Reyes cautions against misinterpreting their meaning as it applies to the marriage covenant.
“Some men use this scripture as an excuse to dominate and control their wives,” Reyes said. “But nothing could be further from the truth. When a man tries to show only his strength to his wife, he is actually showing only his weakness. I use the analogy of a tree in the desert. Who wants to stay in the shelter of a bush that has no leaves or no fruit? But if a woman finds a tree that provides shade and fruit and is growing beside a flowing river, she will want to remain there. And whatever good things a husband provides for his wife, she will multiply and provide for their entire family.”
Reyes said he believes that God created men and women to be equals in life but said that in a marriage, just as in any organization, there has to be one leader and that leader should be the husband.
“I am pretty hard on men because I believe men have given away their family responsibilities to their wives,” he said. “How many times have you heard a father, who may be tired when he comes home from work, say to his child- “You want to do something? Go talk to your your mother!” A young boy sees this over and over and he learns to think it must be the mother’s job to make all these decisions. I tell husbands that if they want the privilege of leading their families, they have to act responsibly.”
Reyes said he encourages everyone to remember that God has a unique purpose for each of them.
“Unfortunately, there are more lost people inside the church today that outside,” he said. “Sunday Christians live two different lives and think their faith is just something they can put on and take off like a uniform. The sad thing is they are missing out on all the joy that we experience when we allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit.”
The “Dawn of Faith and Glory” ministry, led by Pastor Rafael Reyes, is located at 5912 Ogeechee Rd (US Hwy 17) in the shopping center next door to the Wal-Mart Super Center. Bilingual worship services are held each Sunday afternoon at 3pm and on Thursdays at 7pm. For more information, please call 774-535-1524.