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Keila Diaz

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Answers in Genesis reaches out to Hispanic community with ‘Día Latino’

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (BP) -- As part of its mission to bring the Gospel to all nations and cultures, Answers in Genesis plans to host Día Latino (Hispanic Day) this fall. Answers in Genesis (AiG) is an apologetics ministry dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. It focuses on providing answers to questions about the Bible -- particularly the book of Genesis -- regarding key issues such as creation, evolution and the age of the earth.

Pregnant woman with COVID-19 ‘asked God to do His work’

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP) -- Rocio Martinez was 20 weeks pregnant when she had to drive herself to the emergency room at 3 a.m. because she was barely able to breathe. Martinez had been diagnosed with COVID-19 a few days prior -- as had her husband, two sons and members of their extended family.

Workshops help Hispanic men learn what God says about fatherhood

Through the Spanish-language arm of the ministry Abiding Fathers, Rafael Gutierrez helps Hispanic men learn about the role of fathers in the Bible. "Due to [Hispanic] culture and religious influence, the role of the father is seen only as protector and provider," Gutierrez said. "There is a lack of verbal expressions of love from Hispanics fathers towards their children. Raising the children has been a duty left almost exclusively to mothers in Hispanic households."

Georgia Hispanic churches grow in unity during pandemic

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- Though they haven't met physically in more than a month, Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) Hispanic churches continue to be strengthened through training and fellowship opportunities the convention began more than a year ago. They are just doing it in a different way. "Because we have become a united church, we have been able to face this COVID crisis," said Javier Chavez, vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) and pastor of Amistad Cristiana Internacional in Gainesville, Ga. "We have stopped being many Hispanic churches and have become one Hispanic church."

Online Hispanic gathering asks ‘Are These the End Times?’

NASHVILLE (BP) -- While churches everywhere are adapting and learning how to disciple and evangelize in a post-COVID-19 world, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee created a space for Hispanic Baptists to ask questions and discuss ideas. Julio Arriola, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization with the Executive Committee, hosted a Facebook Live conference call Tuesday (April 7) asking "Are These the End Times?" He was joined by Bobby Sena, director of Spanish studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Evis Carballosa, author and speaker; and Efrain Salcedo, director of Hispanic initiatives and professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

North Carolina sees Hispanic church planting boom

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) -- In the last seven years North Carolina has been experiencing a Hispanic church plant boom, with 150 new Hispanic churches. And the growth shows no signs of stopping, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "There has been a spiritual awakening that has led to planting of Hispanics churches across the state," said William Ortega, consultant of Hispanic church planting for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

Texas conference evangelizes, equips for Hispanic ministry

EULESS, Texas (BP) -- The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) drew 400 Hispanics and saw 18 professions of faith in Christ during Spanish sessions of the annual Empower Evangelism Conference on Feb. 21-22. Through the conference, held at Cross City Español (First Euless Español), the SBTC sought to gather the community and preach the Gospel that people would be saved, as well as to equip the saints for the work of the ministry in their Hispanic context. Those purposes were accomplished in two ways. On Feb. 21, the SBTC hosted Fiesta Familiar (Family Party), with food, face-painting, piñatas and games.

New Jersey Hispanic church tries to fill the void

PASSAIC, N.J. (BP) -- Just over 70 percent of the 70,000 residents of Passaic, N.J., are Hispanic or Latino. That's almost 50,000 people in this community just north of Newark. A quick Google search, however, confirms what many in the area already know -- there are not many Hispanic Baptist churches in Passaic. But there are many Hispanics open to the Gospel. Federico Fernandez pastors Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Passaic (First Hispanic Baptist Church of Passaic), and in his 28 years of ministry in the area, he has seen how the community around the church has transformed, and the church along with it.

Arriola has vision for ‘thousands more’ Hispanic churches

NASHVILLE (BP) -- New executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization Julio Arriola officially began his role with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee January 1, 2020. As 2019 came to an end, Arriola moved from Mexico to Nashville with his wife Carla and their three children, Daniel, David and Elizabeth.

Tragedy offers church planter ministry opportunities

MIAMI (BP) -- Fire alarms began sounding in the three-story Le Club Apartments in South Miami on Wednesday night, Dec. 11, while church planter John Michael Gibson and his wife Brittany were settled in their second-floor apartment. "We heard the alarms, walked outside and saw that the building was on fire, so we went back in and helped get everybody out," said Gibson, who is planting Village Church in nearby Cutler Bay.