About The Pastor of This Congregation
Pastor Frank De La Cruz was born on October 27, 1955, in Harlingen, Texas. He was brought up in a single-parent household by his mother, Maria Hernandez, along with his four brothers and one sister. His early life was characterized by numerous struggles and trials. Seeking better opportunities, Maria decided to relocate the family to California when Frank was just five years old
Growing up in a fatherless home brought much heartache and despair into his family, but not without triumph. Maria his mother received the baptism in Jesus Name and 1 year later On April 16th, 1972 a pivotal experience occurred in Pastor Frank's life. At the prime age of 16 he attended a revival in Selma, California with Evangelist Freddy Jose. There his experience with God was so great that he repented of his sins and was filled with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That same night he joined his mother Maria at a healing service in Fresno with Evangelist Gilbert Muñoz, and was baptized by Pastor David Pantages in the precious Name of Jesus Christ. Since English was his first language, he began to attend the United Pentecostal Church in Fresno. A year later in 1973 he felt a burden to attend the Apostolic Assembly Church of Clovis, California and began to be involved with the junior, youth, and bus ministry. In 1974 after graduating from High School he felt a strong call to search the scriptures and learn the word of God and enrolled in C.B.A.N. (National Apostolic Bible College) in Hayward California.
In 1976 after Bible College, he returned to Clovis his home church and continued teaching and ministering within the Sector and District level in the Central District of California, Messengers of Peace Youth Department. For a time, he turned down the request from Pastor’s to be ordained into the ministry. Like Moses’ he fled the call but he could no longer resist God’s Calling due to prophecy, dreams and preaching’s confirming his call. At the age of 21 he was ordained under the Pastorship of Andy Province where he served as Assistant Pastor.
In 1978 he moved to Carlsbad, California where he met his future wife Brenda Enid Marrero and was married in 1983. He served the Spanish Ministry in Carlsbad as Assistant Pastor for 12 years and later as Co-Pastor in Oceanside for 8 years in the Apostolic Assembly.
In 2005, he felt the call to start a English Congregation with just his family and 7 members. During the first 2years God tried Pastor Frank's dedication and commitment to his Kingdom. He lead worship and preached every service with no musicians or ministerial help. However, in that sacrifice God saw fit to bless the ministry and began to meet the needs of the church. It was at this moment that Pastor Frank stepped away from his Full-time job and took a leap of faith into full-time ministry in 2010. Due to the growth and need for liberty to expand the kingdom On July 4th 2017 Higher Praise Oceanside church was moved and planted at a new location.
Pastor De La Cruz and First Lady Brenda are truly Blessed to have their whole Family serving God and in Ministry along with 3 grandsons, Noah, Jacob and Mateo. His 3 daughters Brenda Clemente (husband Luis Clemente), Bree Maldonado (husband Jose Maldonado) and Brittany Maldonado (husband Alfonso Maldonado) are all involved in ministry, baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. After many years of a distant relationship with his father Pastor Frank reached out to his father to renew his relationship with him. He brought to him the gospel of salvation and baptized his father according to Acts 2:38 in Jesus Name when his father was 91 years of age. Several years later he preached at his father’s funeral and laid him to rest. Pastor De La Cruz has always stressed the importance of strong families and never giving up. His focus has always been on his local church and being there for his congregation and being accountable to someone. Higher Praise Oceanside is a part of Apostolic World Community Inc. It's through this vision and purpose that God had given growth to the Church!