NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Members of a Hispanic Advisory Council
have been named to work in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s
(SBC) Executive Committee (EC), North American Mission Board and other SBC
entities toward “more fully integrating Hispanic Baptist churches into the
total fabric of Southern Baptist life and ministry.”
The 18-member advisory council will be co-chaired by Daniel Sanchez and Bob
Sanchez is professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
where he also is associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and
Missions and director of the Scarborough Institute of Church Growth.
Sena is a Hispanic evangelist and conference leader and a retired church
planting consultant with the North American Mission Board.
The three-year Hispanic ministry initiative is being launched by EC President
Frank Page and North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell in response
to a request from the Hispanic Consortium, an annual gathering of Hispanic
leaders serving on SBC entity staffs.
The Hispanic Advisory Council’s creation could be followed
by additional ethnically oriented advisory groups, Page said.
Other members of the Hispanic Advisory Council are:
- Francisco Aular, associate pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Etobicoke,
- Pedro Avilés, director of evangelism for the Puerto Rico Baptist Convention.
- Elias Bracamonte, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida in Topeka, Kan., and
president of the National Hispanic Baptist Fellowship.
- Jason Carlisle, director of Hispanic mobilization for the International
- Yolanda Calderon, writer and conference speaker; California director of
ConPaz, a ministry of restoration for women; and former recording secretary
with national WMU.
- Joshua Del Risco, national coordinator for church mobilization with the North
American Mission Board.
- Mike Gonzales, director of multi-ethnic ministries for the Southern Baptist
of Texas Convention.
- Luis Lopez, director of Lifeway International & Español for LifeWay
- Jorge Melendez, Hispanic church planting strategist for the Illinois Baptist
- Frank Moreno, director of the Florida Baptist Convention’s language division.
- Salomón Orellana, pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor and Iglesia
Bautista Luz De Las Nacion, both in Hempstead, N.Y., and president of the New
York/New Jersey Hispanic Baptist Association.
- Jesse Rincones, pastor of Alliance Baptist Church and an attorney in Lubbock,
Texas, and president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas.
- Daisy J. Rios, an elementary school teacher and pastor’s wife in Bergenfield,
- Jonathan Santiago, associate director of student evangelism with the Baptist
Convention of New York.
- Gus Suarez, professor of church planting at Midwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., where he also is director of the Center for North
American Missions and Church Planting and the Hispanic doctor of ministry
- Fermin A. Whittaker, executive director of the California Southern Baptist
In a statement to Baptist Press released during the Executive Committee’s Sept.
19-20 meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Page said the council will assist the
Executive Committee, NAMB and other SBC entity leaders in understanding the
perspectives Hispanic churches and church leaders bring to the common task of
reaching the nation and the world with the gospel.
“The council is representative of the regions of the country and reflects the
cultural diversity of the Hispanic population,” Page said. “Its purpose is that
of consultation, communication and cooperation. It will neither launch nor
execute ministries. Its role is to provide information, insight and counsel to
NAMB and EC staff relative to the special needs and concerns of Hispanic
churches and church leaders in the Southern Baptist family of churches.”
The Hispanic Advisory Council will use surveys, phone conferences, online
communication and personal meetings to gather and communicate information from
Hispanic groups such as the presidents of state Hispanic fellowships, the
National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches, Hispanic leaders on
state convention staffs, Hispanic pastors and laymen as well as the Hispanic
Consortium, which is an annual gathering of Hispanic leaders serving on SBC
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.)