Our Pastor – Rev. Vangie Chavez

I am a native New Mexican who loves this great “Land of Enchantment.”  For the past 30+ years I have had a passion and a calling to minister to, and on behalf of, God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  At Rising Sun Christian Community, I get to do just that!

I am thrilled to be serving in this awesome,loving, and passionate community of believers. Together, we strive to let the light of Christ shine in and through us, and take that out to our community.

Of course, I could not do this work without the support and partnership of my beautiful and amazing wife, Traci Chavez, who knows all too well the challenges of being a “Pastor’s Wife.”

I remain grateful to God for this wonderful place of worship and invite you to give us a try!


Board of Directors

 Paula Gonzales-Member-at-Large

I’ve had a love for God and His son Jesus Christ since I was a little girl. I spent many years being religious and “playing church.” When I was 31 years old, I was a single mom raising three sons and I finally decided to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It’s been a wonderful journey ever since. I love Rising Sun Christian Community (RSCC) because just like Jesus, we welcome everyone just as they are without judgement. May God continue to bless RSCC. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 NIV

 Amelia Juarez-Member-at-Large

I took early retirement in 2016 and during the 20 years at my job I worked every Sunday. I had attended different churches in my past but never had the feeling that I truly belonged anywhere. I have a beautiful wife, a loving family, I had a good job, a roof over my head……but something was missing!

We had been invited a number of times by Pastor Vangie and her wife Traci to attend Rising Sun Christian Community (RSCC), but we worked on Sundays. When my wife retired in 2015 she started attending church services. I would get home from work and she was so excited to tell me about the message Pastor Vangie delivered and all the wonderful people she met. I was excited just listening to her share her Sunday with me. God was working through her for both of us! We found what had been missing in our lives.

So needless to say, after I retired in 2016, we are both attending and worshipping together. I am a member of the Board of Directors and am proud of our church family. We welcome everyone who walks through our door and we pray that they too have found what has been missing in their lives.


Jerri Hudson-Member-at-Large

I have lived in Albuquerque since the early 80’s. I searched for a church home where I felt welcomed and fed for many years. Here at Rising Sun Christian Community I have found what I searched for. Being semi-retired has given me the opportunity to serve more fully as a member of the Board of Directors. I welcome the opportunity to support Rev. Vangie and RSCC to provide a safe, spirit filled place of worship.



Cynthia Richards – Worship Leader

MaryAnn Rich-Activities Coordinator 

Praise God, I found a church, one that I can be comfortable in and motivated by. When I retired my plan was to relax and do all the things I didn’t get a chance to do while I was working. That wasn’t Gods plan for me. He wanted me to share my story with others, both within the church and out. I wasn’t always a part of the Jesus movement and I did things in my past that I wasn’t proud of and I didn’t think I needed God in my life. I believed in God and thought that was enough…..

I worked hard all my life and didn’t realize that it was all because of God that I had the family, the friends, the home and health that I was taking for granted. We sometimes go through life believing that we are in charge; I was one of those people. A friend of mine passed away and Pastor Vangie delivered the eulogy. It made me realize that instead of having it all, I had nothing. I was afraid, I was empty, and I was lost. I wasn’t ready to die! None of my friends were aware of my feelings because I hid it well. I spoke to Pastor Vangie and realized that it was God missing in my life and I was lacking a spiritual purpose.

I started attending RSCC and couldn’t believe how God’s words through Pastor Vangies messages transformed my heart. I had been baptized when I was young but I never asked God through the Holy Spirit to be part of my life. He is now the center of my life and I am the happiest and most fulfilled person I have ever been. I’m not saying I still don’t have bad days, but God holds my hand through them now. Please come and see what God can do for you!