Singing the spirit in Cuba

In the decades since the Cuban revolution, church members have fertilized their traditional Methodist roots with a homegrown spirit, transforming worship with music and enthusiastic prayer and calling upon each believer to be an evangelist for Christ.

Eighty percent of the municipalities in Cuba now have a Methodist church and preaching locations cover nearly the entire country, serving about 43,000 members and a community of 65,000. Encouraged by Bishop Ricardo Pereira, young people flock to the church and the 10-year-old seminary and district and local extension programs promote education and leadership.

Writer Linda Bloom and photographer Mike DuBose traveled to Cuba in November 2016 on behalf of United Methodist News Service to learn more about the Methodist Church in Cuba.

The first stories in this series debut Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, with the second two publishing Feb. 7 and 9.

Cuban Methodists are packing the pews

Decades after Castro’s revolution, the church has combined Wesleyan and Pentecostal elements to form its own identity.
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Sidebar: Providing a home for the elderly

In a former private home across the street from Marianao Methodist Church, 15 older Cubans find assistance and companionship at a facility run by the Methodist Church in Cuba.
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Cuban worship: Music, prayer and passion

For Methodists in Cuba, praising God is about being supported by a community, not just about individual faith.
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Sidebar: Going digital at Havana Seminary

In some respects, those attending Seminario Evangélico Metodista are ahead of many Cubans in terms of using digital technology.
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The Rev. Alcibiades Negret is superintendent of the Mayabeque district of the Methodist Church in Cuba. He pastors a church in his home in San José de las Lajas. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. 

Building a church growth strategy in Cuba

From cell group to mission to church, the goal of the Methodist Church in Cuba is to make each member an evangelist.
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Sidebar: 'Lord, I'm here'

Lourdes Vazquez worked for 20 years in Cuba’s renowned health system but gave up her job, her home and proximity to her children and grandchildren to serve God.
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For Methodists in Cuba, ‘These are good times’

Hard work and good relations — with fellow Cubans, United Methodists and others — help shape today’s church.
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Sidebar: Solidarity and service in Cuba

In Havana neighborhoods, people seem to know everyone and hear everything. “The thing about Cuba is we have learned to help one another – solidarity. Life here is very sociable.”
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Watch Slideshow

Experience lively worship and glimpses of Cuban life with a selection of photos by UMNS photographer Mike DuBose, set to music by Cuban Methodist worship leader Rosmery Díaz.

View Flickr Album

Writer Linda Bloom and Photographer Mike DuBose traveled to Cuba in November 2016 on behalf of United Methodist News Service to learn more about the Methodist Church in Cuba.

Make a Donation

You can support the Methodist Church in Cuba through these projects: Aid for the Coordination of Volunteers to Cuba, Cuba Undesignated and Florida Conference Mission Advances for Cuba.

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Social Concerns
United Methodist deaconess Cindy Johnson (right) walks to buy medicine with Isabél who traveled with her daughter from Nicaragua to Matamoros, Mexico, hoping to request asylum in the U.S. Kassandra, 16 months, was suffering from fever and weight loss while she and her mother waited for their turn to approach the bridge leading to Brownsville, Texas. Johnson, who makes regular visits to the makeshift camp, brought members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force for a firsthand look at the immigration situation. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

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Immigration

Church ready to welcome asylum seekers

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