NEW ORLEANS (BP) – As the annual Southern Baptist Convention gathering in New Orleans draws closer, Hispanic Baptists are gearing up for a time of evangelism, celebration, fellowship and equipping opportunities.
More than 30 Hispanic pastors have already signed up for Crossover, an evangelistic event that takes place each year in the host city of the SBC annual meeting. The group has partnered with six local Hispanic churches to canvass those communities praying, sharing the Gospel and inviting lost people to church.
Crossover will start on June 7 and culminate with a big dinner and celebration on Sunday, June 11, in the New Orleans Convention Center’s Great Hall. The dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the celebration will start at 6 p.m. Register here.
Pastors and wives are invited to register for the dinner, and the celebration will be open to all who wish to attend.
Eloy Rodriguez, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church Español near Tampa, Fla., is organizing the event as a member of the National Hispanic Baptist Network (NHBN).
“I encourage all our Hispanic pastors and wives to attend for two reasons: it will be a great time to fellowship, and it will be a great time to celebrate what God is doing amongst Hispanics,” Rodriguez said.
“Serving the Lord, Serving Others” will be the theme for this year’s Hispanic gathering, reflecting the theme for the SBC annual gathering.
The dinner will also serve as an opportunity for Southern Baptist partners to share Spanish-language ministry resources with the pastors. Representatives from the six Southern Baptist seminaries will form a panel moderated by Luis Lopez, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization with the SBC Executive Committee.
“I encourage Hispanics to participate in these events to be inspired by what God is doing with and through the Hispanic population for the Great Commission,” Lopez said. “This will also be a great time to fellowship with brothers and sisters from other states and see that we belong to a great family of believers.”
The Hispanic Celebration will feature guest speaker Bruno Molina, executive director of the NHBN and interfaith evangelism associate of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Worship will be led by Julio Arriola, director of Send Network Texas in partnership with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
The dinner and celebration will be preceded by a time of prayer led by David Perez, pastor of Iglesia Casa de Bendicion in St. Cloud, Fla. and prayer team leader of the NBHN. The time of prayer is open to all pastors who wish to participate as the group prays for the nation, the SBC, and the NBHN that it may continue to be of support to the churches it serves. The prayer time will be from 4-4:30 p.m. in the Great Hall.
On Monday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hispanic pastors and leaders will have more than 20 Spanish language workshops to choose from. The workshops will focus on different ministerial areas available to pastors, leaders, and churches in Spanish. These will be held at Hotel Sheraton New Orleans Grand Ball Room A-E.
On Tuesday, June 13, at 1:15 p.m. and Wednesday, June 14, at 9:10 a.m. the CP Stage in the Exhibit Hall in the convention center will host panels in Spanish on the topics, “Making Evangelism a Priority in the Church” and “How to Lead a Church that is Divided?”
The Tuesday afternoon panelists speaking to making evangelism a priority will be Julio Crespo, Send Network Español Southeast Champion; Eloy Rodriguez; Gilberto Corredera, Pastor Prestonwood en Español; Joshua del Risco, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva in Fultondale, Ala.
On Wednesday morning, the panelists speaking on the topic of leading a divided church will be Julio Guarneri, President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; Ruben Torres, Second Vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention; and David Rodriguez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Horeb in New Orleans.