Hispanic Florida Baptists Celebrate ‘Missions Explosion,’ Honor Roque

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Pictured above left to right: Manuel Barahona, Reynier Coro, Roxana and Emanuel Roque, Karen and Tommy Green.

LUTZ—More than 400 Hispanic pastors and leaders convened for a celebratory dinner Nov. 12 at Idlewild Baptist Church prior to the kickoff of the 2023 Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting.

The gathering, a cherished tradition for Hispanic pastors and messengers, promotes unity within the Hispanic Florida Baptist community through fellowship and worship, setting the tone for Hispanic participation during the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference and annual meeting.

Tommy Green and Emanuel Roque greet Hispanic pastors and leaders during celebratory dinner preceding the annual FBSC meeting.

“The vision given by Dr. Green to reach Florida is expressed as a challenge to keep fulfilling the Great Commission to all people groups,” said Emanuel Roque, Hispanic ministry catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention. “We are truly better together as we unite to demonstrate what God is doing through these churches and also give pastors and members a greater picture of belonging in the great Florida Baptist family.”

The event highlighted the significant engagement of Hispanic individuals in global missions, with more than 125 Hispanic Florida Baptists serving in international missions outreach annually. Collaboration with the International Mission Board is enhancing these efforts.

Pastor Reynier Coro, from Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion in Kissimmee, cited a “missions explosion” in his church, attributing it to the statewide focus on missions. His congregation has traveled to Ecuador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and the church is planning an outreach in Spain in early 2024.

More than 400 HIspanic pastors and leaders gathered for a celebratory dinner at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz.

Coro reflected, “We beseeched God for missionaries, and He inspired us to embark on that path ourselves.”

Missionaries serving with the IMB in Peru and Spain rallied the assembly to engage in this missionary wave. Andrew Moffett, serving in Lima, Peru, lauded the collaboration of Hispanic Florida Baptist churches with the IMB, highlighting the September 2023 ‘Together for the Nations’ conference in Miami as a prime example of such partnerships.

Roque’s dedication to guiding Hispanic Baptist pastors was honored; Coro presented him with a plaque and a gift basket for his wife, Roxana. Manuel Barahona, president of the Florida Hispanic Fellowship and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Westside in Boynton Beach, recognized Roque as “a shepherd to shepherds.”

Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, expressed gratitude for Roque’s contributions and urged the pastors to persist in their ministry efforts.

Barahona’s sermon for the night drew from John 16:33, reminding attendees that although sin reigns in our world, Jesus offers trust and true peace—a message and opportunity he declared open to all, at home and abroad.

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