Leadership Team

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Gabriel Wang-Herrera 
Servant Lead Pastor
610-283-2969
BGAFrankford@gmail.com

I was born and raised in New York City.  My parents were, at one point, good about taking me to church consistently.  At first we attended a small Pentecostal church near our public housing apartment complex in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  Then we moved to another Pentecostal church which was more embracing of God’s love and grace for people and less legalistic.  However, right about that time during my teenage years, my church going parents became disinterested in the things of God.  I, on the underhand, embraced the unending favor of the Lord once He awakened me to the truth and I began to zealously serve and love the Lord God Almighty.  By the age of 12, I prayed the prayer of salvation and was baptized and began speaking in tongues by the age of 14.  Thereafter, I was dutifully discipled by my Pastor and a few brothers from the church.

I entered New York University at a young age: 16.  It was a semi-cultural shock even though I lived about 20 minutes, walking distance, from the campus in “The Village.”  But I was not on campus for too long before the Lord led me to join InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  I grew a lot under their leadership as a result of their intentional leadership programs.  Praise the Lord, I am also very grateful to InterVarsity for discipling my wife in the faith and preparing her for a marriage with me.

I graduated from NYU in 1996, moved to Philadelphia in 1998, and went to Seminary for a year, during which time my wife and I started attending Spirit & Truth Fellowship in Hunting Park.  After a year at Seminary I felt God’s call to teach at Hunting Park Christian Academy, the school my church decided to plant in the Fall of 1999.  I taught kindergarteners for six years and became the Development Director for three years until God called me to start By Grace Alone Frankford Church.

I obtained my Masters in Divinity from Biblical Seminary in June of 2012 and am working full-time as Servant Pastor of By Grace Alone.   My wife (Pearl) and I, along with our two girls – Mia and Juliet – moved into the Frankford community in 2010.  I look forward to leading my family and our church in continuing to be a sign, instrument and foretaste of the Kingdom of God in the Frankford and Northwood areas of Philadelphia as we all seek to accept, transform and equip all who God brings our way!  We are fully committed to serving our community and excited about the plans God has in store for us all.

Ben Soto
Associate Pastor/Elder
(267) 746-7788
bensoto.01@gmail.com

I was born and raised in the Hunting Park Section of Philadelphia (Pike and Percy Streets).  I grew up going to church but, when I was 12 years old at a Billy Graham Crusade in 1992, I felt the Lord “tugging” at my heart and calling me to surrender to His Lordship. That day I did.  I was 11 years old when I made the public confession.  At age 17, I was baptized at Spirit and Truth Fellowship by Manny Ortiz and Hector Vasquez (I still remember how the water felt, it was sooo cold).

After several years of finding who I was and what I wanted to do, I ended up at Temple University. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. During that time, I was a youth helper at Spirit and Truth under then Youth Pastor Hector Vasquez.  Even at a young age, the Lord had put on my heart the passion to see young people in the city submit to Christ’s Lordship and worship Him.

In 2004, I became the member of a church plant team which started 8th Street Community Church (A sister church to By Grace Alone). After helping plant that church, the Lord called me and my wife to By Grace Alone in 2009, which the same year I started my studies at Biblical Theological Seminary. In June of 2012, I graduated from Biblical with an MA and MDiv.  Currently, I am the Men’s leader at BGA and I am ministering bi-vocationally as an Associate Pastor and in the secular academic world.

I am on mission with my wife Stephanie who also serves the church in various ways.The Lord has blessed us with a son named Jeremiah.  I am a true fan of all Philadelphia teams especially the Eagles.

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