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Hispanic Fellowship discusses ‘Da Vinci,’ Islam

PLEASANT GARDEN, N.C. (BP)–A seminar on “The Da Vinci Code” drew dozens during a training session of the 19th annual meeting of the National Fellowship of Hispanic Southern Baptist Churches June 11 at Pleasant Garden (N.C.) Baptist Church.

In keeping with the fellowship’s theme, “Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century,” Julio Fuentes, pastor of Iglesia Nueva Vide in Hialeah, Fla., led a seminar explaining what the book and movie are about and then issuing a challenge for believers to be aware of historical errors and theological mistakes in both.

“The book and movie are pure nonsense,” Fuentes, also the Fellowship’s former executive-director, told the more than 70 people attending the seminar.

In a seminar about Islam, Jason Carlisle, International Mission Board Hispanic mobilization coordinator for North America, co-taught a class with a worker from the North African region whose name is withheld for security reasons. Work in the region is challenging, the worker said, and yet he has seen many Muslims come to Christ.

“It is a myth of the devil that it takes years to see a Muslim come to Christ,” the worker said. “While it is difficult for a Muslim to make a decision for Christ, it is not impossible.”

Other seminars dealt with discipleship, contemporary womanhood, the prosperity Gospel, pastoral ministry and evangelism.

In the afternoon business session, Augusto Valverde, the Fellowship’s president, who was elected for another one-year term, delivered his annual report. Valverde, the pastor of Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion in Miami, also reported going on an evangelistic trip representing the Hispanic Fellowship to Medellin, Colombia.

“God blesses when we think big. When you sow outside, God blesses inside,” Valverde challenged participants. “We are going to take a step of faith and strive to be able to support full-time a Fellowship sponsored missionary in Medellin.”

In other business, Eduardo Docampo, until recently employed as a strategy coordinator with the North American Mission Board and currently on active duty with the Army Reserve, was elected as the Fellowship’s new executive director. Docampo replaces Fuentes, who resigned last year for personal reasons.

Hispanic ministry heroes were also honored. Alcidez and Miriam Nunez, from Miami, were honored as international missionaries with 17 years of service with the International Mission Board in Chile and Peru.

Raul Vasquez, and his wife, Mirtha, were honored for their 13 years of mission work in Florida. Vasquez recently retired as the director of the language division of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Other officers elected for the coming year were: Liz Rosales, California, first vice-president; Francisco Nunez, Texas, second vice-president; Guillermo Mangieri, Maryland, secretary; Joel Medina, Mississippi, vice-secretary; David Carlson, Georgia, treasurer; and Jorge Fonseca, Texas, vice-treasurer.

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  • David Raul Lema Jr.