Southern California’s got its Saddleback Church of Rick Warren fame, but Morelia has its own version in Vida Abundante, with its own TV and radio programs, podcasts, cells of the faithful in just about every hue, flavor and style, and a full-featured website giving top billing to its pastors, Andrés and Kelly Spyker. A Neo-Pentecostal Charismatic Christian church, this congregation of more than three thousand souls isn’t exactly the new kid on the block, having been around for several generations. In addition to the mothership on the eastern edge of town, this church has established branches on the western and southern quarters of the city.
For years, LaVoz de Michoacán published a schedule of the daily masses at the area Catholic churches, along with the obligatory column by the Catholic hierarchy. And that was pretty much as far as religious news went in these parts. Recently, the religion page has seen articles by Juan Spyker Anderson, Vida Abundante’s pastor (and father of Andrés), and some guy from the local Casa Tibet. Now the Buddhists may not have much political clout, or even seek it, in these parts, but the evangelist Christians are a growing force.
Only yesterday, candidates in the local gubernatorial and mayoral races attended the inauguration of a new building at Vida Abundante. For politicians in Mexico, the campaign trail has added another whistlestop.