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Hispanic fellowship moves meeting time

SAN ANTONIO (BP)–Citing a need for more operational freedom and a desire to avoid scheduling conflicts with other Southern Baptist Convention-related meetings, the National Fellowship of Hispanic Southern Baptist Churches voted in a June 10 business session to schedule future annual meetings independent of the SBC annual meeting.

The fellowship also voted to enter into a formal agreement with Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to develop Hispanic leaders.

Opening the meeting with a short devotional, Augusto Valverde, NFHSBC president and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Ressurreccion in Miami, welcomed participants to the 20th annual business meeting held at Iglesia Sur San Antonio.

“With God all things are possible!” Valverde said in delivering a short devotional.

The motion to change the meeting time and location, brought to the floor by the NFHSBC executive committee, keeps intact a business meeting planned the Sunday prior to the SBC annual meeting and a day of prayer on Monday.

Fellowship leaders said they believe the organization can have more of an impact in places where they receive strong support.

Participants approved a motion to accept an invitation to enter into a formal cooperative agreement with Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., after viewing a video presentation. In the video, GGBTS President Jeff Iorg outlined the new vision of the seminary to reach Hispanics through the school’s Contextualized Leadership Development program as well a new bilingual doctor of ministry degree offered in both English and Spanish.

The original motion was amended to stipulate the agreement is not unilateral and exclusive only to GGBTS. The amendment guarantees that other seminaries also can partner with the fellowship in promoting programs of mutual interest. The amended motion was approved by all present.

Also during the meeting, Vice President Francisco Nuñez of Dallas reported that last year’s evangelistic efforts in Greensboro, N.C., prior to the SBC annual meeting produced a total of 430 recorded professions faith.

“More focus should be placed on the evangelistic needs of the Hispanic people,” Nuñez said, challenging those present to support and participate in at least one of the several evangelistic crusades and events planned by the Fellowship for this upcoming year and the next.

The fellowship elected new officers for the coming year: Augusto Valverde, president; Liz Rosales, Primera Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel, Vacaville, Calif., first vice president; David Fajardo, Iglesia Bautista Internacional, El Paso, Texas, second vice president; Guillermo Mangieri, Iglesia Bautista, Washington, D.C., secretary; Joel Medina, Iglesia Internacional Las Americas, Carthage, Miss., vice secretary; Rolando Mena, Iglesia Bautista Efeso, Miami, treasurer; and David Carson, Iglesia Bautista Panamericana, Atlanta, vice treasurer.

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  • David R. Lema Jr.