Who We Are

Our Mission

Our purpose is to restore, transform, and empower disciples who love Jesus and change Cleveland. We believe it starts with the church. We want to leave a legacy of Latinos who are Biblically grounded, social-emotionally stable, financially secure, and academically successful.

OUR Beliefs

Aviva Church of the Nazarene is part of the Church of the Nazarene denomination in the North Central District. We are a Great Commission church. As a global community of faith, we are commissioned to take the good news of life in Jesus Christ to people everywhere and to spread the message of scriptural holiness across lands. Read more about our beliefs here

OUR city

There are over 84,000 Latinos in Cuyahoga County and a growing need for churches that represent the biculturalism of the growing second- and third-generation Latino American. We’ve been called to serve the Metro West region where we grew up.

  • Clark-Fulton: Home to over 11,000 residents and the densest population of Latino residents in Ohio. The population is approximately 64% Latino.
  • Brooklyn Centre: Home to over 9,224 residents. Approximately 32% of residents identify as Latino.

Our leadership team

Lumar Vargas

Lead pastor

Pastor Lumar received her call to preach in a Latino church at age 14 and wants to empower the next generation. Her gifts are administration, exhortation, and shepherding. Lumar has 15 years of pastoral experience and has been an Associate Pastor, traveling preacher, Small Groups Director, and church planter. She is completing a Ph.D. in Leadership. Outside ministry, she has worked as a teacher, administrator, and is currently a Leadership Coach for TFA.

Emanuel Vargas

worship director

Emanuel (Eman) serves in the capacity of Worship Director. His gifts are exhortation, giving, and serving. He and his wife, Lumar, have been friends and ministry partners since their youth. Emanuel plays keys and bass and enjoys programming, video editing, and music technology. He has created software databases for churches and schools. Overall, Eman enjoys working behind the scenes. He’s been a Software Engineer for over 16 years.

Talina Morales

worship

Talina serves as Aviva’s Worship Leader. She is a songwriter, musician, and recording artist. Her gifts are serving, evangelism, and shepherding. Talina’s single, “Llegar” became her anthem after surviving breast cancer and dreams of taking her music to the nations. Outside worship, Talina has been a massage therapist for 10 years and owns her own massage business. She enjoys Korean culture and has a great sense of humor

Víctor Cruz

administration

Victor serves in the ministry of Administration at Aviva Church. His gifts are administration, giving, and teaching. In this role, he leads Aviva’s business administration, internal finance, and database management. He works at the Hispanic Business Center as a Business Advisor and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. He enjoys nutrition, readings, and is a Wall Street enthusiast. He, and his wife Cecilia, have been married for 18 years. 

Ceci Quiñones

congregational care

Cecilia (Ceci) serves Aviva through her ministry in Congregational Care (Women). Her gifts are shepherding, exhortation, and mercy. In this role, she supports the overall spiritual growth and organization of the church through shepherding, lay counseling, and discipleship. She is also a gifted worship leader and teacher. Ceci enjoys nature, animals, and Japanese food, and works in sales. Ceci and her husband, Victor, have been married for 18 years. 

Ricardo Reyes

CONGREGATIONAL CARE

Ricardo serves Aviva through the ministry of Congregational Care (Men). His gifts are shepherding, teaching, and giving. He supports the overall spiritual growth and organization of the church through shepherding, lay counseling, and discipleship. Ricardo is also a gifted teacher and enjoys nature and time with his family. He and his wife, Ruthy, have been married for 15 years and have three children: Ismael (14), Rut (12), and Nathalie (8).

our Ministry team

Our team represents four generations, various career backgrounds, and experiences. Many of our team members grew up as sons and daughters of Latino pastors: Talina (worship), Kary (youth), Ruthy (connections), Maria (marriage & family), Cecilia (congregational care – women), Lumar (leadership) & Eman (worship leadership), Daniel (outreach), Ricardo (congregational care – men), Pedro (marriage & families), Roberto (youth), Victor (administration)

OUR PARTNERS

It takes a network of like-minded people to restore, transform, and empower our generation. We’re not doing it alone! 

The North Central Ohio District serves to advance God’s kingdom by encouraging and resourcing the local church to accomplish the mission of the Church of the Nazarene within each church’s unique context. We are fortunate to have a compact geographical area with 63 organized churches, 2 compassionate ministries in 22 counties in the central and northeastern part of Ohio. Our district stretches from the outskirts of Columbus north to Lake Erie, encompassing the cities of Delaware, Marion, Wooster, Mansfield, Sandusky, and the metropolitan Cleveland area, then east along the lake to Ashtabula and the PA border.

Stadia prepares leaders to start healthy churches that intentionally reach the next generation of believers, spreading the hope of Jesus farther than ever before. They provide project management, fundraising training, and business accountability for Aviva Church. 

TKC is a group of like-minded churches working together to SEND and SUPPORT MISSIONARIES and CHURCH PLANTERS to see communities throughout Northeast Ohio renewed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The P2P Network seeks to train and support Black and Brown people who want to establish indigenous, holistic, justice-oriented churches in urban communities.

The Galilean Theological Center helps equip our community with high quality Theological training. They provide our members with ongoing Biblical education. 

Building Hope advances the good of the city. Magnifies the mission of Jesus. Unleashes the capability of underestimated people. They help train and equip our launch team.

Aviva started meeting at Bedford Church in 2021. They provide prayer and financial support to Aviva. 

Individuals and organizations partner with us in three ways: (1) Financial Partners believe and help fund our cause. You can give three ways: (a) Via our online portal here, (b) through CashApp at $AvivaCleveland, or (c) by mailing a check or money order to P.O. Box 360621 Strongsville, Ohio 44136. (2) Service or Resource Partners  help partner in the work of service throughout Cleveland, and (3) Prayer Partners for our ongoing growth. Join our team by contacting Pastor Lumar Vargas at lumar.vargas@avivacleveland.org 

OUR advisors & mentors

As a growing church plant, we have a network of church leaders who provide additional covering and support to our team.

  • Rev. Scott Lessing, Associate Pastor, Grace CMA Church (Board Chair)
  • Joanyra Mazur, Accountant Senior Deployment Associate, PricewaterHouseCoopers (Board Treasurer)
  • Minister Cedric Johns, Director of Employee & Labor Relations, Cleveland Public Library
  • Rev. Rafie Sturges, L.P.C, Executive Director, Hispanic UMADAOP
  • Adriana Sabbath, M.Ed, Educator, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools
  • Robert Williams, M.Ed, Director, Invictus High School

Our friends are pastors and lay leaders with a collective 200+ years experience. They invest in Aviva by provide aspiring leaders mentoring as they grow in their roles.

  • Pastor Bethany Liston Solyntjes – Renew Communities
  • Pastor Socorro Ocasio – Iglesia Ebenezer (Retired)
  • Pastor James Laker – Mission 59, NCO District
  • Pastor KJ Wilson – Grace CMA Church
  • Pastor Luis Vizcarrondo – Refine Church
  • Pastor Jose & Amanda Rivera – Lakewood Newlife
  • Americo Montoya – Templo San Pablo – Mexico
  • Mildred Arnold – Grace CMA Church
  • Brian Metzer – Renew Communities