Evangelist tells Hispanic fellowship of seeing 30 professions of faith

by David R. Lema Jr., posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 (14 years ago)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Sharing the FAITH Sunday School evangelism strategy in Spanish, a Hispanic evangelist who led 30 people to Christ during Crossover Nashville said he believes using a simple survey to share Christ can work "amazingly well."

Carmelo Arias told participants at the annual National Fellowship of Hispanic Southern Baptist Churches' annual reunion June 18-19 he went with several local leaders in an "expedition of door-to-door witnessing that God richly blessed."

Arias, from Iglesia Bautista Northside in Hialeah, Fla., said he did not do anything extraordinary but was just one of many committed to sharing Christ the week before the Southern Baptist Convention's June 21-22 annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

"I simply used the survey format that is part of the FAITH presentation in Spanish which worked amazingly well and even had the chance to teach the other local leaders how to use it," Arias said.

The week prior to the meetings, five local Hispanic churches participated in a special evangelistic crusade, "Hay Vida en Jesus" (There is Life in Jesus), during Crossover Nashville. More than 250 professions of faith were recorded as a result of door-to-door witnessing and nightly revival meetings.

On June 18, fellowship participants gathered for a time of music and worship around the theme, "I Will Seek Your Face."

Augusto Valverde, pastor of Resurrection Church in Miami and the fellowship's leader of evangelism, issued a challenge for people to share Christ in their own communities. Fifty people answered the call and committed themselves to actively witness and four others answered God's call to fulltime Christian ministry.

Gerald Davidson, first vice president of the SBC and a Missouri pastor, was present on behalf of SBC President Bobby Welch to bring a word of greetings from the SBC. Davidson thanked God "for what is happening in the Hispanic fellowship and how it is growing in the SBC."

Hispanics, Davidson said, are "the largest ethnic group in the land and we need to give attention to reaching these people for Jesus Christ."

David Fajardo, representing the Spanish Baptist Publishing House in El Paso, Texas, presented a video on the 100-year history of its ministry. Each pastor who attended the meeting received a free copy of the video.

The June 18 gathering also featured a musical concert with worship leaders from the United States and Costa Rica, including Moises Hernandez of Miami; Jacqueline Becerra of Plantation, Fla.; and Ruth Mixter, representing ENLACE, the Latin wing of the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

A June 19 workshop series featured leadership training events in ethics, missions, evangelism, leadership and literature.

A business session followed the training event and participants approved several motions and resolutions. Julio Fuentes, executive director of the fellowship, formally presented a letter of resignation due to personal reasons. His resignation was accepted and the group approved a motion to officially recognize Fuentes' work at next year's annual meeting.

In other business the fellowship elected the following officers for the coming year: Augusto Valverde of Resurrection Church, Miami, president; Segundo Mir of Primera Iglesia de Laurel, Md., first vice president; Liz Rosales of Primera Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel, Vacaville, Calif., second vice president; Joel Medina of Iglesia Internacional Las Americas, Carthage, Miss., secretary; Guillermo Mangieri of Iglesia Bautista de Washington, D.C., vice secretary; and Carmelo Arias of Northside Baptist Church, Hialeah, Fla., treasurer.


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