Cristina Peña owned a successful hair salon business in NYC; but after she got saved, she felt the call of the Lord to go back to her native home in the Dominican Republic. In 1997, she and her family were sent by The Brooklyn Tabernacle to return to Cristina's old home in Santo Domingo, the capital city. She began holding meetings in her home, and a small house church was formed. As the church kept growing, Cristina gave up her home to be rebuilt into a much larger two-story church building. Cristina is now the Pastora of El Tabernáculo de Salvación y Alabanza (The Tabernacle of Salvation and Praise), which has grown to more than 300 adults and children. Cristina’s daughter, Milly, who grew up as a youth in The Brooklyn Tabernacle, serves as Associate Pastor and has many responsibilities, such as teaching the Adult Sunday School and overseeing Christian Education for the Children.
In 2006, Pastora Cristina visited an impoverished rural area outside of Santo Domingo, called 36th Kilometer, where her family had land. She was struck by the spiritual and physical needs of the people in this area. The church began making weekly trips to minister to the people of 36th Kilo. A number of people received Christ over the years and a small church annex was begun. They now meet at a new church building that The Brooklyn Tabernacle helped to build. The church also began a breakfast program at the church, where a breakfast is given twice a week, along with the Word of God, for the children and parents.
El Tabernáculo also reaches out to their community through medical clinics, youth and children outreaches, food and clothing distributions, and a variety of other ministries to build up the people of God, both spiritually and physically.