Though still young, the Methodist Church in El Salvador has been planting one church per year since its inception in 1994. Today, there are 12 churches—five in urban centers. Centered in the city of Aguachapán, the El Salvador churches face a number of challenges, including the difficulty of acquiring property for church buildings. Only four churches own their own buildings.
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As part of its commitment to the El Salvador church, Global Ministries provides minimum wage salaries for eight pastors (the other pastors serve as volunteers). Also it supports a Christian Education program that offers biblical training and helps this growing community understand and embrace its Methodist identity. A new missionary has been assigned to the community and to support the work of the church. As many as 15 UMVIM teams visit the country to develop relationships with this growing Methodist community and partner in their work.
One of the most pressing issues facing the community is the growth of gang violence and crime. The Methodist Church in El Salvador is responding by developing programs that reach out to the young before they are drawn into the gang life.