SPRING HILL — Seeking to bring a large-scale Christian event to the local Hispanic community, Miguel and Jennifer Candelario of the evangelistic ministry Isaias 6:8 will present 2nd Night of Praise at Iglesia Corona de Vida next weekend.
The free event, presented in Spanish, will begin at 5 p.m. June 9.
Guest speakers will include Omar and Yami from Genesis 680 AM radio and the Rev. Edgar Colon. The church's pastor Hector Rivera will also speak while pastor Noemi Rivera will lead the church's praise team and will open the event with a devotional.
Music will be performed by Shaja, a group from Tampa; recording artist Teresa Rodriguez; and saxophone player Christian Concepcion. Shamayim, a praise and worship group from Puerto Rico, will make a special appearance.
The church is at 7197 Centerwood Ave.
Offering Christian events in the area has been the Candelarios' goal since they began their Isaias 6:8 ministry. Two years ago, they held a similar event at a church in Pasco County.
"We had a preacher, and it turned out great," Miguel Candelario said. "I told my wife that next year we'll have to do this again. Then God put in my heart to have a concert here in Hernando County."
The Candelarios didn't want people to have to travel far to attend a Spanish gospel event.
"Every time we turn around, we hear on the radio or TV about events in Orlando, Miami and the Tampa area," Miguel Candelario said. "We hardly ever see large events here in Hernando, Citrus or Pasco (counties). So God blessed us with this idea."
The idea to start their evangelistic ministry three years ago came from God, he said.
"One day I was alone in my living room talking to God and asking him why I felt so lonely," he said. "I needed something besides playing music. There was something missing."
He said he was directed to Isaiah (Isaias in Spanish) 6:8.
"It's about when (the prophet) Isaiah opened his eyes and saw the angel of God, and God told him he was looking for someone to preach his word," Candelario said. "Isaiah said, 'Here I am, send me.' And that's when I knew God wanted me to go and preach his word."
His message is one of hope.
"(God) told me he didn't want me to use his word to hit people, to make people feel bad," Candelario said. "He wanted me to preach that he is coming soon and that there is a savior. There is hope; there is love."
Candelario was born in Puerto Rico and spent his youth going back and forth between there and Yonkers, N.Y. By his late 20s, he found himself on a road to self-destruction.
In 1999, Candelario came to Florida and met Jennifer, who invited him to her church. The first time he went, he accepted God, he said, and became a Christian. Shortly after, the couple married.
Now at age 37, the message God is urging Candelario to preach is one he can relate to and one he is anxious to share.
He's been taking it slowly, he said, and began by preaching every Saturday on Genesis 680 radio in Tampa.
Through that ministry, he met many Hispanic preachers and musicians, leading him and his wife to sponsor praise events.
Committed to introducing people to God, Jennifer Candelario, 35, said the purpose of next weekend's event is to give people hope.
"We want to let people know that there's hope in knowing God and that they can be changed in their life," she said.
Her husband agrees.
"We are in a very critical situation right now around the world with a lot of criminal activity going on, a lot of drugs, a lot of our youth stepping out of church," Candelario said. "It's very sad what I'm seeing. We want the youth, the elderly, everybody to come to this activity and listen to our preaching."
The event will close with prayer and a call to people to give their lives to God.
Candelario said he is expecting people from Hispanic churches in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tampa, Clearwater and Pasco County to attend in addition to people from Hernando.
Youth from local English-speaking churches have also been invited, and Candelario is working on finding a translator for the event. Future events, including a revival in October, will be in both Spanish and English, he said.
"We want to welcome everybody. Our doors open at 4, and people should come early," Candelario said, noting that they are expecting a large crowd. "Our guest preacher is well-known in the Spanish community, and God uses him in a very big way. Our musicians God also uses in such a powerful way. Come and be ready for a night of praise."