by Becky GINOS
NORTH SALT LAKE—Spend a few minutes with Pastor Alex Lucero and you can’t help but smile. Lucero has served at the Abundant Life Church in North Salt Lake for 30 years and his love of God and passion to help others is infectious.
“Our motto is: Experience faith, hope and love,” he said. “Our vision statement is: committed to the Lord in worship and service. Committed to each other in friendship and discipleship. Committed to community in outreach and compassion.”
Lucero exudes all of those principles. He grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from Granite High School. After feeling called to the ministry in high school he attended Bible school in Washington and then came back and served as a youth pastor for eight years.
“I drove through this area (NSL) and thought, ‘we don’t have a church here,’” he said. “I said ‘God, if ever you get one I’d like to be there.’” In 1985 a church was established and they met at several different locations.
“Then they bought this building around 1987 and remodeled it,” said Lucero. “I came in 1988. About 40 people considered this their home. Since then, we built a new sanctuary in 2001/2002 and it has grown to more than 200 people.”
Abundant Life is part of the Assembly of God Church. “That (organization) is huge,” he said.
Lucero and his congregation are very involved in the community. “We support 30 missionaries worldwide,” he said. “On the local level we help feed kids through a program at Adelaide, assist with the Food Pantry, the homeless at the rescue mission and we’ve been a sponsor of Coats for Kids for many years.”
He’s also served as chaplain to the NSL Police Department for about 20 years. “I’m available to officers who need help through difficult situations they’ve had,” Lucero said. “Or when citizens in the community lose a loved one I help with the death notification or provide comfort if they’ve had a tragedy in their home while the officers do their job. I help them connect with a religious leader if they have one.”
The church also has a strong youth program. “Our young people are very involved in things besides just being a teenager,” he said. “Several teenagers took a trip to Los Angeles Dream Center and ministered to the homeless population there.”
North Salt Lake City Council member James Hood experienced Lucero’s guidance when he was a youth. “I went to high school with his daughter,” said Hood. “He would take the time to talk to us and teach us to live the right way. Even though I wasn’t a part of his church he was a great example to me when I was growing up.”
Hood and the city presented Lucero with an award for his 30 years of service at a recent city council meeting.
“I encouraged him (Hood) to know God and not neglect the important things in life,” said Lucero. “That’s just what I do – that’s my whole life. If the world can’t tell the difference then what difference is there?”
North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave said the honor was mostly to thank Lucero. “Having a church running in a city for 30 years is a big deal,” he said. “Somebody who does a lot for the community should be honored. He’s actively making the community a better place.”
Lucero just wants others to experience God’s love. “It’s like I have the best secret in town and I want to share it with everybody because they need it,” he said. “We’re like a spiritual hospital. I love to love people. I point them to God and watch them grow. I’m very grateful to be able to do what I do. I have a deep sense of gratitude to God for what he’s done for me.”
The Abundant Life Church is at 410 N. Main Street, North Salt Lake.
For more information visit abudentlifeutah.com.