SAN ANTONIO (BP)–“Rise and Build” will be the theme of the Hispanic events taking place June 9-11 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in San Antonio, a city rich in Hispanic-American heritage.
The San Antonio Baptist Association, the North American Mission Board, the two Texas state conventions, the National Hispanic Fellowship of Churches and San Antonio-area churches are working together to make an impact in local communities.
Celebrations, meetings and evangelistic activities are planned both for local Hispanic Baptist churches and for those coming from other parts of the country for the annual gathering.
Augusto Valverde, president of the National Hispanic Fellowship of Churches, noted, “All the entities are working together to proclaim Christ in the city, share in Christian fellowship and promote the activities of Hispanics within the SBC.” For spiritual preparation, the fellowship is promoting a 16-week prayer plan that will culminate June 11 as the various Hispanic events draw to a close.
“As Hispanics, we realize that we must not be spectators but actors. As a people we must be participants and commit to the ideal that ‘Yes, we can!’ and make a difference,” Valverde said. San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas, with Hispanics comprising roughly 60 percent of its 1.5 million people.
Outreach into San Antonio’s Hispanic communities involving local churches and visiting Baptists will begin with participation in the SBC Crossover San Antonio events, encompassing a “Festival de Alabanza” (Festival of Praise) at the Guadalupe Plaza and an International Fiesta the weekend prior to the SBC’s June 12-13 meeting. For more information about these events, go to www.crossoversa.org.
Following the morning and afternoon outreach on Saturday, June 9, Hispanic Baptists and guests will gather at South San Filadelfia Baptist Church, 2483 W. Southcross Blvd. in San Antonio for a 7 p.m. Hispanic Crossover Evangelistic Outreach Celebration featuring a mini-concert by the South Filadelfia praise team and an evangelistic message by Texas evangelist Sammy Fuentes.
On Sunday, June 10, local Hispanic churches will be involved in evangelistic morning worship services. For a listing of participating local churches, see www.sanantoniobaptist.org.
On Sunday afternoon, the National Hispanic Fellowship of Churches will meet for its annual business session (location to be announced).
On Sunday evening, the 2007 National Hispanic Celebration will take place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom B, underscoring the Rise and Build theme from Nehemiah 2:18. The evening will begin with a mini-worship celebration of praise led by the New Beacon Hills Baptist Church praise team from San Antonio.
Among the speakers will be Fuentes, SBC President Frank Page and newly elected North American Mission Board President Geoff Hammond.
Also, Daniel Sanchez, director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Scarborough Institute for Church Planting and Growth and associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, will speak on “New Hispanic Challenges.” Sanchez is the author of the new book “Hispanic Realities” published by ChurchStarting.net.
Joshua Grijalva, Carlos Ferrer and Oscar Romo will be recognized for their faithful service to Hispanic Baptists during the celebration. For more information on the event, see www.nambenespanol.net.
On Monday morning, June 11, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., the Hispanic activities will continue at South San Filadelfia Baptist Church with the National Hispanic Celebration Training Component. Scheduled seminar topics are:
— “Solid Financial Planning in the Church” led by Kevy Rojas, multi-cultural relationship manager with GuideStone Financial Resources.
— “Effective Leadership in Hispanic Churches,” Rolando Rodriguez of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
— “Involving Hispanics in Church Planting” Enio Aguero, national missionary with NAMB’s church planting group.
— “Ministry Based Evangelism/Reaching Hispanic Youth” led by Victor Rodriguez, pastor of South San Filadelfia Baptist Church.
— “Creative Evangelistic Approaches Among Hispanics” led by Joshua del Risco, director of the ethnic/international team under NAMB’s evangelism group.
— “Starting English Preference Churches” led by Roland Lopez, consultant for Hispanic ministry with the San Antonio Baptist Association, and Fred Ater of the BGCT.
— “Hispanic Cell-based Churches” led by Carlos Navarro, pastor of West Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville, Texas.
— “Innovative Use of Media in Worship” led by Lucas Barrientes, music director at South San Filadelfia Baptist Church.