Over a thousand Hispanic Florida Baptists are coming together all across the state for the annual Hispanic State Fellowship gathering focused on the Great Commission.
In the course of three Saturdays themed “In God We Will Do Great Things”, Hispanic Baptists in Florida are joining the battle cry of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to take the Gospel Above All through the Who’s Your One? initiative and church planting through Send Florida network.
“These three Regional Meetings will serve as a time to celebrate what God has done in our lives, churches and ministries; a time to remind us that our priority is to proclaim the gospel in our Hispanic community and beyond; and that a spirit of unity will glorify God, strengthen the Church and impact many with a gospel witness,” said Bob Sena, SBC Executive Committee’s Hispanic Relations Consultant.“Pastor David Perez from St. Cloud is leading the statewide Hispanic fellowship representing over 355 churches, hundreds of ministries and a true movement trying to highlight reaching all Hispanic churches and people in Florida,” said Emanuel Roque, Hispanic Church Catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC).
The first of the three meetings took place at Iglesia Real in Hollywood led by pastor Martin Vargas and the second at Iglesia Bautista Central Kissimmee. “The Fellowship of the Hispanic churches in Florida, its President David Perez, and at a national level Bob Sena and Ramon Osorio, Al Fernandez from FBC, Oscar Tortolero from the International Mission Board (IMB), James Peoples with Send Florida network and the incredible support of many others locally have made possible the strong beginning and launch,” said Roque.Sena preached at both meetings and will also preach at the next gathering encouraging Hispanics in the urgency of reaching all people groups with the Gospel. Osorio, National Church Mobilizer for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) is leading a presentation on the Send Florida network and Who’s Your One evangelism initiative. Chris Wong, NAMB’s Second Generation Church Mobilizer, is also sharing with the group about reaching second generation Hispanics in their communities.
“We are a diverse convention,” said Fernandez, Southeast Regional Catalyst of the FBC. “Hispanics need to be involved and be seen in Baptist life. We are responsible before God for our communities, state and nation.”
Sena expects that these meetings will create major momentum for the Southern Baptist Hispanic Leaders Celebration in Orlando prior to the SBC annual meeting in 2020. “We are hoping, praying and working to have 750 to 1000 people from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and we are thrilled to announce that Dr. Ronnie Floyd, CEO and President of the Executive Committee of the SBC, will be the preacher for this historic event. The Orlando Celebration will be a worship service to glory God, declare the unity among our Hispanic and highlight the contribution of Hispanic Southern Baptist to the Kingdom and the SBC.”The next gathering will be August 24th at Primera Iglesia Bautista Tallahassee. These equipping and celebratory gatherings will lead the way to the annual FBC meeting in Orlando and later to the SBC 2020 annual meeting; also in Orlando.
“[It will be the] largest ever statewide and SBC Hispanic celebration sharing the Gospel and representing our unity and presence,” said Roque. “This is truly historic and momentous.”