DALLAS (BP) — The Church2Church fellowship (De Iglesia a Iglesia) brought together more than 100 Hispanic Southern Baptists on Sunday (June 10) for a unity service in Dallas at Primera Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida.
The fellowship was officially formed last year during the SBC’s annual meeting in Phoenix for the purpose of uniting Hispanic churches and pastors to further the Gospel.
Robert Lopez, co-founder of the fellowship, and Ramon Osorio, Hispanic church planting catalyst with the North American Mission Board, addressed the 10 a.m. service marked by a sense of fellowship among attendees of all ages and backgrounds.
Nueva Vida pastor David Galvan extended a welcome to those who were visiting; the church’s worship team led in English and Spanish worship songs.
Lopez, pastor of Iglesia Highland in Ocala, Fla., shared a special statement on behalf of the fellowship’s leadership, saying in part:
“We declare we are ready today to work under the leadership of the Executive Committee of the SBC…. We are ready for unity … to break the chains that keep us apart.”
Osorio’s message, titled “One for All and All for One,” focused on unity, taking note of factors that destroy unity and how to overcome them.
Drawing from 1 Corinthians 12:18-21, Osorio noted that “God has blessed us in many ways but instead of bringing us together, it is separating us because we are not viewing the blessings correctly or understanding God correctly.”
The three attitudes that lead to disunity in the body of Christ, Osorio said, are separatism, individualism and pride.
To overcome these, he said believers must accept the role God has given each person; the church must allow space for all to fulfill their calling; and everyone must strive for excellence in the role they are called to fill.
Along the way, Osorio added, honoring each other is important. “It’s often hard to honor those who deserve it,” he said, “but it is even harder to honor those whom we think don’t deserve it.”
Sharing is also key: “Share your talents,” Osorio said. “When you don’t, you are stealing blessing from your brothers and sisters.”
In his call to unity, Osorio urged attendees to appreciate all members of the church because God has equipped everyone differently but for His glory.
“Unity begins when we submit to the Lordship of Christ,” Osorio said.
“My hope for today was filled,” Lopez said of the gathering. “We wanted to ignite a desire among Hispanics to unite under the [SBC Executive Committee] because working independently and being every man for himself is not healthy.”
Lopez finished with a reminder that “Church2Church is not an organization, we are a fellowship with the purpose of unification.”
Bobby Sena, Hispanic relations consultant for the Executive Committee, said Hispanics “have come from all over” for the SBC annual meeting and several Hispanic fellowships, “and we are declaring publicly that we are going to work together.”
“We may be diverse in how we think and how we are,” Sena said, “but we are uniting to expand the Kingdom of God.”