By Sharon Mager
EASTON, Md.—Jose Nater, a Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network church planter who has given a decade of his life to planting Hispanic churches and discipling leaders, accepted a position as a North American Mission Board (NAMB) Church Planting Catalyst, ministering with the Baptist Convention of New England. He and his wife, Mayra, are moving this month.
Nater, while working full time as a maintenance supervisor at a housing complex, at the encouragement of Jerry Wade, executive pastor of SonRise Baptist Church, Berlin, planted not just one, but three churches on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and pastored all of them while training and developing other leaders. Nater planted Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Cambridge, Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Easton and Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Seaford.
A special combined worship service was held at First Baptist Church, Easton, on Dec. 20, to celebrate, reflect on the years of Jose, and his wife Mayra’s ministry and what God has done through them, and to say farewell.
Two new pastors are taking the reins from Nater. One is his son, Josean Nater and the other is a beloved brother in Christ, Eliud Reyes.
Josean Nater was ordained and leaders prayed and laid hands on Josean and his wife, Carolina, at Grace Baptist Church, Seaford (GBC), on Dec. 13. GBC Pastor Larry Davis officiated.
A similar service was held for Eliud Reyes and his wife, Claudia, later in the day at First Baptist Church, Easton, with Pastor Paul Martins officiating.
Josean Nater is now acting as a transitional pastor at Cambridge and Seaford. He is planting a new church in Hurlock. Eliud Reyes is pastoring the Easton church and has plans to plant another church on the Eastern Shore.
In Jose Nater’s at times emotional final message at a combined worship service, he shared, “Now I understand how the call of God can break our hearts.” A video played on a television screen throughout the service with scenes of Nater and his church family enjoying outings, at worship and many baptisms.
Nater, using 1 Corinthians 15, said he understands the Apostle Paul’s concern for the church, to exhort them to be totally obedient to the Holy Spirit, to exhort them to love one another, and to be on guard and alert. “Because the enemy wants to damage what God has done. Stand firm!” Nater said.
Nater encouraged the churches by Paul’s words, “Be firm in what has been taught to you. Do not be like children, leave the things of children and behave as adults. Be strong.
“Now I understand the Apostle Paul,” Nater said. “The love of Jesus Christ is what unites us, and will never leave us. It will keep uniting us no matter where we are. It doesn’t matter the distance, or the obstacles.
“I want to leave the last verse with you, ‘My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.”