For the past two years, Father Timothy Holder, “Poppa T,” of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, has been reaching out to the Latino community in the area.
While in New Jersey he received his nickname from a group of rappers after he began offering a hip-hop Mass. His goal was to serve a wider audience that others would overlook.
In January 2016, St. Thomas began what Holder refers to as a “Latino partnership,” with sermons delivered in both English and Spanish.
“I would say about 20 to 30 percent is in Spanish as of now,” said Holder. “The end goal is to have a completely bilingual service where English and Spanish are going at the same time, and I think we’re heading there. An example of this is during communion, I’ll offer the bread in Spanish and the wine in English.”