As a teenager, Waco native Gabriel Dominguez sold drugs and went in and out of the juvenile detention center.
At 23, a conviction of machine gun possession landed him in federal prison, according to his biography on the Life Church Waco website.
After his release Dominguez experienced difficulty readjusting to life as a free man. It was not until he discovered the love of God that he learned that faith in Jesus could transform his life for the better, Dominguez said.
Now ‘Pastor G,’ Dominguez leads Life Church Waco, which emphasizes ministry on the streets.
‘Hope Through Everything is a discipleship program coordinated by the church where ‘Hope Boyz’ and ‘Hope Girlz’ participate in workshops designed to teach good work ethic, conflict resolution skills, people skills and a healthy outlook on finances.
Many of the men and women who go to the workshops have never held a job. The program recognizes that short-term job training is often not enough to introduce them to the workforce.
“We came up this concept of job creation,” Dominguez said. “They are trying to work their butts off, and they need to work three jobs. They’ve got issues, but they want dignity.”
On Thursday, the church launched its ministry with a movie screening of “The Ripple Effect” at the Waco Hippodrome.
“The Ripple Effect” was the result of a creative collaboration between Dominguez and director David Urabe.
The short-film told the story of a young boy who was killed in a drive-by shooting. The film showed the role of prayer and faith as a way of finding comfort in difficult circumstances.
“We mobilized 50 people and 90 different companies, and rounded up 50,000 worth of products and services,” Urabe said. “We spent five days and hauled everyone here to Waco, which we called Wacko before.”
Originally, the short film was intended to be a music video, which would promote the other branch of Hope Through Everything, a music ministry called ‘Hope Through Muzik.’”
“This is not your typical church film. There is substance, there is content in here that is a little on the edge, but it’s real and it involves things that are real and in the community where pastor Gabriel is serving,” Urabe said.