People in the service
about the church
We are a church that responds to a higher calling
Revs. Maritza and Alfonso Perez responded to a higher calling in 1992 when they founded Maranatha Church in Rome, New York. They began by holding small group church services in their own home. These services were attended mostly by children, but subsequently, their parents and friends also started attending. Before long, the church group grew too large to be accommodated in the Perez's home. The church began having their services hosted at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. There, the number of children and families attending continued to grow. The Hispanic community in Rome was becoming more aware of the events occurring at Maranatha Church. They realized it was more than a “religious organization.” It was a place of hope and refuge for many of the broken families living in Rome, NY. As the Church continued their weekly services at Mt. Calvary, they commenced their Sunday Bible School classes at the Rome YMCA. After some time, it was more convenient to hold their Sunday school classes in the recreational room at Wright Park Manor, where most of the families resided. The number of families attending continued to grow, and it became important for Maranatha Church to acquire a much more prominent space. In 1997, Maranatha Church leased a building on Erie Boulevard that had several rooms and a kitchen. This facility allowed for the establishment of outreach programs. This building is now the Greystone Animal Hospital. After several years, the Church moved to what used to be an old grange on Canterbury Hill Road. At this point, many of the church youth were now leaders. Not only in the church but also in their communities. These leaders served as members of their school Student Body, as ESL assistants, and as tutors. In this location, it became apparent that it was time for Maranatha Church to have a place they could call their own. After much prayer and consideration, Maranatha Church was blessed to purchase what used to be the Rome Masonic Temple. Purchased in 2008, the families of the Church worked together to remodel the formerly dark and dreary place. Carpets were restored, walls painted, rooms renovated, and windows revealed. A new light shined on 620 N. Washington Street! The members of Maranatha Church had waited so long for their place. This renewed sense of purpose inspired members to pay off the mortgage the year after.
Maranatha Church has played an essential role in making Rome a better city in which to live. It has bridged gaps between the growing Hispanic community and the city. It has helped restore families, not only spiritually and emotionally, but financially and educationally. Most of the young people who attend Maranatha are High School and College graduates. Many of them are now professionals that work in the Rome area and are thereby giving back to the Rome community. Rev. Maritza Perez is an active member of the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency and the Rome Police Department’s Community Committee where she strives to do all she can to help the Rome Community. Although the years have passed, Maranatha Church still has many projects that it hopes to accomplish to fulfill its vision of improving the Rome community experience a better tomorrow.