NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Members of a Hispanic Advisory Council have been named to work in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, North American Mission Board and other SBC entities toward "more fully integrating Hispanic Baptist churches into the total fabric of Southern Baptist life and ministry."
The 18-member advisory council will be co-chaired by Daniel Sanchez and Bob Sena.
Sanchez is professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also is associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions and director of the Scarborough Institute of Church Growth.
Sena is a Hispanic evangelist and conference leader and a retired church planting consultant with the North American Mission Board.
The three-year Hispanic ministry initiative is being launched by EC President Frank Page and North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell in response to a request from the Hispanic Consortium, an annual gathering of Hispanic leaders serving on SBC entity staffs. The Hispanic Advisory Council's creation could be followed by additional ethnically oriented advisory groups, Page said.
Other members of the Hispanic Advisory Council are:
-- Francisco Aular, associate pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.
-- Pedro Avilés, director of evangelism for the Puerto Rico Baptist Convention.
-- Elias Bracamonte, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida in Topeka, Kan., and president of the National Hispanic Baptist Fellowship.
-- Jason Carlisle, director of Hispanic mobilization for the International Mission Board.
-- Yolanda Calderon, writer and conference speaker; California director of ConPaz, a ministry of restoration for women; and former recording secretary with national WMU.
-- Joshua Del Risco, national coordinator for church mobilization with the North American Mission Board.
-- Mike Gonzales, director of multi-ethnic ministries for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.
-- Luis Lopez, director of Lifeway International & Español for LifeWay Christian Resources.
-- Jorge Melendez, Hispanic church planting strategist for the Illinois Baptist State Association.
-- Frank Moreno, director of the Florida Baptist Convention's language division.
-- Salomón Orellana, pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor and Iglesia Bautista Luz De Las Nacion, both in Hempstead, N.Y., and president of the New York/New Jersey Hispanic Baptist Association.
-- Jesse Rincones, pastor of Alliance Baptist Church and an attorney in Lubbock, Texas, and president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas.
-- Daisy J. Rios, an elementary school teacher and pastor's wife in Bergenfield, N.J.
-- Jonathan Santiago, associate director of student evangelism with the Baptist Convention of New York.
-- Gus Suarez, professor of church planting at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., where he also is director of the Center for North American Missions and Church Planting and the Hispanic doctor of ministry program.
-- Fermin A. Whittaker, executive director of the California Southern Baptist Convention.
In a statement to Baptist Press released during the Executive Committee's Sept. 19-20 meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Page said the council will assist the Executive Committee, NAMB and other SBC entity leaders in understanding the perspectives Hispanic churches and church leaders bring to the common task of reaching the nation and the world with the Gospel.
"The council is representative of the regions of the country and reflects the cultural diversity of the Hispanic population," Page said. "Its purpose is that of consultation, communication and cooperation. It will neither launch nor execute ministries. Its role is to provide information, insight and counsel to NAMB and EC staff relative to the special needs and concerns of Hispanic churches and church leaders in the Southern Baptist family of churches."
The Hispanic Advisory Council will use surveys, phone conferences, online communication and personal meetings to gather and communicate information from Hispanic groups such as the presidents of state Hispanic fellowships, the National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches, Hispanic leaders on state convention staffs, Hispanic pastors and laymen as well as the Hispanic Consortium, which is an annual gathering of Hispanic leaders serving on SBC entity staffs.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.
Read BP's previous story about the advisory council: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=36158