In fact, Emanuel Roque, Hispanic church catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention, said they consistently hit full capacity each year to the point they are considering how to get more space for next year.
It’s not a bad problem to have.
“God is doing an incredible work of uniting pastors, churches and people at Hispanic churches and with all of the Florida Baptist Convention with the prayer and heart cry of Florida Hispanics for Christ,” Roque said.
Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Convention, shared a message, asking God to bring revival to our state. He also shared with the group his vision for a united multicultural, multigenerational, multiethnic and multilingual state convention in order to reach all of Florida with the Gospel.
Roque said he is intentional about the retreat being a time to “encourage, equip and engage” pastors. This year’s theme was “Advancing towards the goal of Christ – Philippians 3:14.” Dr. Otto Sánchez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Ozama in Santo Domingo and president of the Dominican National Baptist Convention, brought the keynote address and each attendee received a copy of Sanchez’s book “Hacia a la Meta.”
Breakout sessions were led by Hispanic pastors from around the state. Retreat guests could choose:
- Advancing towards the goal as pastors led by Felipe Rodríguez, Getsemani, Miami
- Overcoming the dark side of leadership led by Heberto Becerra, Peters Road Baptist, Plantation
- Mission, ministry and models of Hispanic churches led by Eloy Rodriguez, Idlewild Espanol
- Transitions and changes in ministry led by Ernesto Humeniuk, Vida en Cristo, Miami
- Developing worshippers and the music ministry led by Daniel Carbonell, La Trinidad, Miami
- Planning personal finances and retirement, Miguel Pérez, Guidestone
- Reaching and discipling children led by Abel and Grettel Aguila, Iglesia Bautista Nazaret, Miami
There were also two sessions specifically for the wives led by Gloria Humeniuk from Iglesia Bautista Vida en Cristo and Sol Rodriguez from Idlewild Español. Every lady in attendance received Priscilla Shirer’s book “The Armor of God.”
A special Cooperative Program Offering was taken up and a check for $14,114 was presented to Tommy Green.
The weekend was marked with fervent prayer as the group prayed not only for revival but for the April 21st event Sirviendo a la Comunidad, which translates to Serving the Community, where pastors and mission teams from Miami will be heading to Orlando to stand with Hispanic pastors there to minister to the thousands of Puerto Rican evacuees that have settled in the area.
In all, many Hispanic pastors and their wives were blessed by the prayer, praise and worship time and the many gifted speakers who shared messages of encouragement and refreshment with them for the benefit of their ministry in the Hispanic community.
“Hispanic work started in 1800 with Rev. Wood from Fernandina Beach as a missionary to Key West for 1100 Cubans living there,” Roque said. “From there, the Florida Baptist Convention supported the first Cuban missionaries in Cuba in 1884 and has continued that long legacy of reaching all people groups that God brings to the great mission field of Florida for Christ.”
To read this story in Spanish, click here.
By Nicole Kalil, Florida Baptist Convention, April 19, 2018