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Hispanic Baptists prepare for Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–“Rekindling the Fire of God” is the theme for the Fellowship of Hispanic Churches of the SBC prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.

Fellowship leaders noted that the group will support Crossover and other pre-SBC evangelistic and church planting activities in addition to their scheduled activities.

The fellowship and local Baptist associations and churches, the North American Mission Board and Kentucky Baptist Convention are working together to make an impact in local communities with the Gospel. Hispanics number up to 60,000 in the metro Louisville area, up to 4 percent of the population.

All Hispanic churches, SBC messengers and visitors have been challenged to actively participate in the various Crossover activities beginning on June 15 and culminating on June 20. Hispanic Baptists in Kentucky have their own website in Spanish for those who would like more information on the Crossover events: www.cbkentucky.org.

Guillermo Mangieri, president of the Hispanic fellowship and pastor of Iglesia Bautista de Washington in Rockville, Md., said the fellowship is “working together with NAMB to promote the simultaneous revivals which have been scheduled to take place as part of the Crossover events the week before the SBC. We are providing pastors and leaders experienced in evangelism and crusades that have participated in our ‘Life in Jesus’ campaigns at other times.”

Crossover activities on Saturday, June 20, will include a Hispanic family festival at the Iroquois Amphitheater from 1-5 p.m. Hispanic volunteers also will participate in an international festival to be held at the same time at the Value Market at the Iroquois Plaza. For more information, go to www.crossoverlouisville.com.

Julio Fuentes, the Hispanic fellowship’s information director, is hopeful that “participants will be a part of Crossover and join the Hispanic celebrations in the community. We would like to see a greater involvement and participation of Hispanic messengers in the SBC.”

The fellowship’s annual business meeting will be Sunday, June 21, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the same church where the NAMB will be hosting its annual Hispanic church planting celebration, Parkland Baptist Church in Louisville. For more information regarding this event see www.confraternidad.net.

The Hispanic fellowship will meet for its third annual Hispanic Prayer Encounter for Awakening and Revival on Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m. in the SBC Prayer Room in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s Room South C105. The session will be devoted to prayer for the SBC, all participants, missionaries and pastors.

Augusto Valverde, the fellowship’s executive director and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion in Miami, said the annual prayer emphasis “will mark one of the greater contributions of Hispanics to the SBC-related events. Each year, Hispanic messengers and guests gather at the SBC prayer room for at least a couple of hours of prayer for the SBC, the nation, the leaders and for revival in the nation and within the Hispanic population of this country.”

Valverde noted that the group prayed particularly for the health and healing of a pastor’s wife in California last year. The group prayed for a successful heart transplant for her and for someone to donate a heart within the time frame in which it was needed. When the pastor and his wife returned home, she received the needed heart transplant and survived the surgery.

“It is with great expectations that we go to Louisville,” Valverde said, “as we challenge Hispanic Baptists to come and see, and help, and pray, and change the city of Louisville for Christ.”
David Raul Lema Jr. is director of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Center for the Americas in Miami and a correspondent for Baptist Press.

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  • David Raul Lema Jr.