Who R We
Abundant Life Puerto Rico, is a diverse Gathering of Bible Believing Christians located in Isla Verde, Carolina, PR.
Our Mission is to make a real difference in our world, one life at the time.
Our Vision is to rescue the lost and to empower each Christ Follower to fulfill their ministry, by Reaching "UP" God, Reaching "IN" fellow believers,and Reaching "OUT" to the lost.
We love to worship God and fellowship with everyone that comes our way.
Our Values are Integrity, Honesty, Relationship, Intimacy with God, Teamwork, Loving & Caring.
While attending Florida State University, where he studied biology & chemistry, Cory Casterton had a person encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ in 1971. After graduation, he moved to Puerto Rico in 1973 to oversee distribution of a line of sun-care products in PR & the Caribbean.
He was still very young as a Christ follower and was looking for an English speaking church to plug into that would help him to grow in his walk, because he struggling with some things that were hindering his growth. Unfortunately, the ones he went to weren’t really Christ centered and biblically sound.
Cory used to swim out to a little rock island in Isla Verde and literally cry out to God for help. Part of his cry was “God, Isla Verde needs a church for people like me.” Little did he imagine that God would use him as part of the answer for that prayer!
Sometime after that Cory noticed a poster at a Christian bookstore, advertising the showing of a Johnny Cash film about the life of Christ. He took a couple of friends to where it was showing, at a Spanish Church, Iglesia Barbara Ann Roessler (BARM) in Rio Piedras and there he met Carmen on March 29, 1975.
Although Cory understood very little Spanish at the time, he started attending that church because the Presence of the Lord was there and there was good Biblical teaching. As he attended, his friendship with Carmen grew into a romance and on November 2, 1975, Cory proposed to Carmen on a Sunday morning, in front of the congregation of a couple hundred people.
Cory & Carmen were married on May 29, 1976 and shortly thereafter the church they were attending, asked Cory to teach an Adult Sunday School class for a couple of people, in English. In the months ahead Cory was also asked to lead a home group, also with people wanting to fellowship in the English language.
In 1977 that group started meeting on Sunday afternoons in the facilities of BARM. Some of the people were ladies from the islands, with no transportation, so for quite some time Cory, a couple hours before the service began, he would pick up these precious sisters.
The BARM had a Bible School which both Cory and Carmen studied at, to receive a good foundation. Cory was ordained at the BARM, which was a charismatic Presbyterian church. During that time, the Lord gave Cory the name for the English speaking church he was called to pastor, which was Abundant Life Fellowship. (ALF)
ALF continued meeting in the new facilities of BARM in Cupey. Then in the early 1980’s, Cory and Carmen sensed the need to be more non-denomination as a church, and not just be identified as a Presbyterian church. So we left that covering. Cory was then ordained under the ministry of Elim Fellowship, in New York. ALF is a registered non-profit church registered with the Puerto Rican government.
Also during that time, after a full night of prayer with two leaders in the church, the Lord directed them to start gathering in Isla Verde. After some searching, a storefront was rented on Isla Verde Avenue, across from the El San Juan Hotel.
For a variety of reasons, the church has moved around quite a bit in both Isla Verde and also for a few years in Pinnones, just outside of Isla Verde. The church has gathered in classrooms, cafeterias, living room, under the trees, on the beach, hotel venues, commercial space, open air under a tin roof joined to a house, 3 different church venues, an abandoned building which was fixed up, a covered parking lot. All in all, ALF has met in over 15 locations!
In the 70’s & 80’s Cory was both a pastor and a businessman and then in the 90’s, he was led to start moving into full time ministry.
At one time, when meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel, attendance had grown to 130. Part of our history is that we have had so many people be part of us for a year or so or more, and then move back to the states or another country.
Although we desire and are praying, Lord wiling, that we will have our own facilities, we have learned that the most important thing is the Presence of the Lord. Wherever we have moved, God has graciously gone before and graced us with His Presence. Like Moses said, if You don’t go with us, then I’m not going anywhere. We treasure God’s Presence.
Psalm 27:4, 8. When you said to me, seed My face, my heart said to you, Your face O Lord will I seek. One thing I have desired and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in His house (Presence), behold His beauty and inquire of Him.
These days, as we are chasing after Him, we go by the name, Abundant Life by the Sea, since we are close to the ocean and many of us are beach people.
We believe that Jesus did come so that we may have life and have it in abundance. We want to experience that life and share it with other. Come join us!