A Diverse Church, Unified

Name: Pete Contreras

Current Status: Alumni

Graduation Year: 1988

When Pete Contreras ('88) and his wife, Julie ('90) felt the call to urban ministry, there was no such term as "urban ministry," but New Vision Christian Fellowship, where they have served since 2008, has established a remarkable and diverse ministry in the urban community of San Diego.

Contreras grew up in East Los Angeles, in a community where gang activity was considered normal, but said that sports kept him out of gangs.  He joined the high school varsity football team as a freshman, and served as team captain.

He first heard the gospel during the summer following high school graduation, when his friend invited him to church camp.  Laughing, he admitted that he only accepted the invitation because he knew there would be girls at camp. While he was there, God found him.

Early in his college years at then-Pacific Christian College, he realized that his calling was working with the poor in cities. Pete and Julie married in 1989 and launched Community Christian Church in San Diego, where he served for seven years, the last three as Senior Pastor.  He served the urban community in several ministries before launching New Vision, with a congregation of 15 people.

New Vision, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-economic church, with an attendance of about 350, is a hub for more than 30 ministries at multiple sites in San Diego's most at-risk communities and has also planted 30 churches in Ethiopia. New Vision serves the community by meeting the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of people (body, soul, and spirit).  This fall, the church will launch New Vision Urban Impact, a vocational training school, through its Community Development Association. Next year, the church will launch a for-profit entity for non-profit organizations, promoting economic development for urban communities. 

"I am excited about our church as a visual aid," he said. "The world is so divided, but this diverse church is unified."