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Gang Members Being Converted Through California Schools’ Bible Classes

Veronica Neffinger | iBelieve Contributor | Updated: Sep 01, 2015

Gang Members Being Converted Through California Schools’ Bible Classes

Students are coming to Christ during Bible clubs in California public high schools.

Brian Barcelona is the leader of One Voice Student Missions and a speaker at many Bible club meetings. 

Although public schools aren’t often welcoming of the Bible, many teachers at the California high schools where the Bible clubs take place have encouraged Barcelona to continue holding the meetings because they are seeing positive change in the students.

Barcelona stated in an interview with CBN News that during one Bible club meeting even former gang members came to Christ.

“And I will never forget when I finished, there was this awkward silence in the room,” Barcelona stated, “and this gang banger stands to his feet and he looks at me and says, 'What do I have to do to be saved?'" 

Many students are accepting Christ and finding renewed hope through the Bible clubs which are now taking place in over 20 schools and reaching more than 2,000 students.

“I love that they bring Jesus into my life because now I am so much more positive, the way I see things, than before," student Ruby Navarrete said. "It has just changed me so deeply. I love Bible club now.”

Another student, Valeria Bonoan, stated, "They encouraged me to seek God more and to seek this deeper relationship and I really learned a lot and gained wisdom from their teaching.”

The public schools are offering little resistance to the presence of the Bible clubs.

Barclona recalls principals pulling him into their office and saying, “Look, I don't know what you are saying (in) these meetings. I don't know what you are doing in these meetings, but whatever you are doing, keep doing it because gangs have been coming to our counseling offices with kids saying, 'We don't want to be a part of our gang anymore. Help us.'"

Barcelona says that he became a Christian in high school at a meeting similar to the Bible clubs at which he now speaks. His enthusiasm and authenticity likely resonate with students, but Barcelona claims that God is using him not because he is so gifted, but because he is available. 

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Publication date: September 1, 2015

Gang Members Being Converted Through California Schools’ Bible Classes