Portrait of John Bebe Huerta. Photo essay by Terra Alvarez part of Boyle Heights Beat Summer 22 photo workshop.

Photo essay by Terra Alvarez

To this day my Grandfather has been a role model to many, he has affected a multitude of people in positive ways. John Bebe Huerta is a kind man willing to take the shirt off his back for anyone in need. However, it wasn’t always like this. 

¨I was a bad man and did bad things, but now I’ve changed because the lord Jesus Christ saved me,” Huerta proclaimed. 

Waking up on Sunday morning the lord calls the sabbath, Pastor John gets ready to preach the word to his congregation.

Much like the church he currently ministers: what once was a prison is now a safe haven. There has been a lot of change in Huerta’s life. My grandfather was in and out of his kids’ lives and let  drugs take over his actions. It wasn’t until he finally understood years later that what God had planned for him was much bigger than a ¨quick fix.¨

Constantly reading the Bible, you’ll often find Pastor John studying the word of God.

Even after wanting to change it wasn’t always easy and he found himself falling short a lot. If you ever asked Huerta in his youth if he ever thought he would be praising God years later, he would probably tell you you’re talking to the wrong guy.

The church now serves as a reminder of a past life, with its prison walls and doors left behind. 

Even when preaching Pastor John remains enthusiastic about Jesus. Displayed on the TV you’ll see the scripture John 3:16 which says a lot more than just another verse in the bible. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Both the church and my grandpa have gone through drastic changes.

Grateful for another chance at life and to finally start doing God’s work my grandfather spends most of his time reminiscing and tending to the church.

Him and his Ford truck.

Always been a gentle giant.

See other Photo Essays:

The places that made me by Hailey Guerrero

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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