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Brazilian Baptist pastors expand events to include SBC 2023

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Brazilian Baptist pastors and leaders are expanding their activities to include a gathering in advance of the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

The Brazilian Pastors and Leaders Network, composed of the Brazilian Baptist Pastors in North America fellowship and the Brazilian Baptist Churches Association (AIBBAN), will meet June 12 at 7 p.m. in Room 226 of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Fellowship president Ebenezer C. Dos Santos said the group is meeting at the invitation of the SBC Executive Committee in hopes of collaborating on future work.

“We are looking to learn more, the strategies of the agencies and the Convention,” Santos said, “and try to hold their hands. We want to work together. We love our denomination. We love our leaders. Also, we want to be together. Maybe we have some issues that we can share; they have issues that we want to learn. And then, put together and see how we can help, how we can serve. How we can be a blessing and how the SBC, as well as the leaders of this great denomination can be a blessing in our lives.”

As many as 75 Brazilian Southern Baptist pastors are active in the network, Santos estimated, with more than 100 Brazilian Southern Baptist churches and missions in the U.S.

“This fellowship has been very active in helping churches, working with pastors,” he said, “as well as with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board. We appreciate the people who went to Brazil over 100 years ago and evangelized us and won people for Christ. And now we are here in this country, kind of paying back, kind of offering our best to win souls for Christ, especially Brazilians.”

Miguel Perez, a language specialist and registered representative of GuideStone Financial Resources, and Ramon Osorio, NAMB ethnic-linguistic church planting director, are featured speakers of the event that will also include remarks from Willie McLaurin, interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, and Luis Lopez, SBC EC associate vice president for Hispanic relations.

Santos pastored Central Brazilian Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas, 15 years before retiring from the post in April to serve the pastors network fulltime. Ney Ladeia serves as director of both the fellowship and the AIBBAN association, and Victor Nunes is AIBBAN president.

The network is committed to Kingdom work, Santos said.

“We are in this country because we have in our hearts the desire to evangelize, to do missions and to get people involved in the Kingdom of God,” Santos said. “We are Christians. We are pastors. We are Brazilian Baptists. We are here to preach the Gospel. We are here to involve the people in the Kingdom of God. We are here to work with the brothers and sisters in Christ. And we are here to do our best for the glory of God.”

Estimates of Brazilians living in the U.S. vary widely from 500,000 to 1.3 million, impacted by individual ethnicity classifications collected in the U.S. Census, according to various researchers including the Pew Research Center and the Migration Policy Institute.