Luter lauds Hispanic churches for vitality, leading by example
By David Raul Lema Jr.
Jun 20, 2013


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SBC President Fred Luter speaks to the Avance Hispano gathering June 9 in Houston. Joshua Del Risco, who provided translation, is in the background. Del Risco is the North American Mission Board’s Hispanic evangelism director. Photo by Van Payne
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Luis Lopez, left, director of LifeWay Español church partnerships, speaks with Fred Luter, center, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Joshua Del Risco, right, who translated for Luter when he spoke during the Hispanic Advance Celebration June 9 in Houston. Photo by Van Payne
HOUSTON (BP) -- Hispanics not only belong in the Southern Baptist Convention but "they are here to stay," SBC President Fred Luter said at "Avance Hispano 2013" held in conjunction with the SBC annual meeting in Houston.

LifeWay Christian Resources, the International Mission Board, GuideStone Financial Resources and the North American Mission Board hosted the missional advance dinner June 9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"The Hispanic fellowship is critical, and our [Hispanic] churches are critical, to what we are doing in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention," said Luter, who was translated by Joshua del Risco, the North American Mission Board's director for Hispanic evangelism.

Luter declared that "our Hispanic churches are the churches that are growing the most in the Southern Baptist Convention." He also thanked attendees "for the impact that you are making on the Kingdom of God."

Stating that the Southern Baptist Convention needs a revival, Luter said he wanted to use the Hispanic churches as an example for other churches to model.

"All of us go through difficult times in life and in ministry," Luter said. "Because the Hispanic churches are doing so well, the enemy will try to do his best to come against us. But you got to hold on and hold out and understand that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it."

Gus Reyes, Hispanic ministries consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and a member of the Evangelical Table on Immigration, led in a time of intercessory prayer for those involved in the proposed immigration reforms.

Reyes asked attendees to stand if they knew someone who needed intercession before God due to an immigration issue. In response, nearly everyone present was on their feet.

Angel Luis Angel Diaz-Pabon, the editor of the newly released "Biblia del Pescador," also attended the meeting. The Bible version is an evangelistic and apologetic tool that will soon be translated into English and other languages.
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David Raul Lema Jr. is associate team strategist for theological education ministries at the Florida Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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