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Immigrant/International Ministry

Sharing the eternal life changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the purpose and mission of every Florida Baptist Church. We have been given ONE Gospel message to share with those that God has placed in our lives. One Gospel message that has the power to change the nearly 8 billion individuals that inhabit planet earth and the 22 million individuals that call Florida their home.

The population of Florida is currently adding over 330,000 residents per year and these individuals are coming from nearly every country in our world. God is relocating “new neighbors” in our cities and communities from around the world, so that we can share His loving Gospel message. Being relocated to Florida from other parts of the world brings some unique challenges to our new neighbors.

The following ministries and materials will help your church family be prepared and ready to minister to their new international neighbors. It is our desire to come right beside our Florida Baptist churches as you come right beside the individuals that God has brought into your neighborhood.

Why do churches and Christians do varied expressions of Christian ministry to our communities? Because we are commanded to do so showing God’s love, care, and compassion. Throughout the Bible that heartbeat to save a lost humanity has been evident in His redemptive story, salvation history, and Jesus Christ himself. He sent His Son to a lost world to save it spiritually. Jesus also taught us the answer to who is the neighbor we should care for in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). God’s concern and care expressed in Jesus knows no cultural, national, ethnic, or demographic boundaries. His unique compassion is demonstrated to the widow, orphans, refugees, and foreigners (James 1:27, James 2:14-17, Isaiah 1:17, Exodus 22:21-34, Deuteronomy 24:17-21, Jeremiah 22:3, Zechariah 7:10).

In every era and community Christians can fulfill the Great Commission as they demonstrate God’s care in these varied ways. One way it seems particularly evident is when across history God orchestrates people movements. He picks the times and places people live so that the gospel also moves in those ways (Acts 17:24-27). We have incredible mission opportunities as we look around our communities and churches. Who has He intentionally placed in them that needs to hear and see His love in action through intentional ministry that shows this gospel compassion in word and deed?

There are ways to create awareness and develop convictions of His mandate through Biblical studies, sermons, discipling, sharing resources and ideas of how God is at work in these unique ministries. We pray He will use your life, ministry, church and influence to share the gospel and serve as Jesus did to those in need. Pray, process and plan to take steps, be it for the first time or in developing ministries or partnerships, that intentionally fulfill the Great Commission and share the hope of the gospel as people all around us to are ministered to in their real needs in His name.

The ideas, resources, contacts and church ministry partnerships can be used by God to make a great gospel impact in Florida to all people He has placed and continues to bring around us. Let us know further ways we can be “Right Beside You” as together we come right beside new neighbors in our communities in Jesus’ name (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 22:36-40).

Prayer resources (click to download):

Books and writers regarding compassion and caring community ministries:

  • Atkinson, Donald A. and Charles Roesel, Meeting Needs Sharing Christ. Nashville, TN, Lifeway Press, 1995.
  • Butler, Phillip. Well Connected: Releasing Power, Restoring Hope Through Kingdom Partnerships, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Authentic Publishing, 2005.
  • Carlson, Deanna. The Welfare of My Neighbor: Living Out Christ’s Love for the Poor, Washington, DC, Family Research Council, 1999.
  • Dudley, Carl S. Basic Steps Toward Christian Ministry, Washington, DC, The Alban Institute, Inc, 1991.
  • Engstrom, Ted W. and Edward R. Dayton. The Art of Management For Christian Leaders, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1989.
  • Lewis, Robert, and Bob Wilkins. The Church of Irresistible Influence, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 2001.
  • Lupton, Robert D. Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor, Ventura, California, Regal Books, 2007.
  • Minatrea, Milfred. Shaped By God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches, San Francisco, California, Jossey-Bass, 2004.
  • Moffitt, Bob with Karla Tesch.  If Jesus Were Mayor: How Your Local Church Can Transform Your Community, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Monarch Books, 2006.
  • Perkins, John M. Beyond Charity: The Call To Christian Community Development, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Books, 1993.
  • Pinson, Jr.  William M. Applying the Gospel: Suggestions for Christian Social Action in a Local Church, Nashville, Tennessee, Broadman Press, 1975.
  • Sherman, Amy L. Restorers of Hope: Reaching the poor in your community with church-based ministries that work, Eugene, Oregon, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1997.
  • Sider, Ronald J., Phillip N. Olson, & Heidi Rolland Unruh. Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community With Good News and Good Works, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Books, 2005.
  • Sider, Ronald J. Good News and Good Works: A Theology For The Whole Gospel, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Books, 2004.
  • Sider, Ronald, J. Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Books, 2007.
  • Watkins, Derrel R. Christian Social Ministry: An Introduction, Nashville, Tennessee, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.

(Ministry resource listing of books and authors provided by Michael Daily)

Books and resources – Immigration Guide:

  • Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang Yang (InterVarsity Press, 2009)
  • Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible, by Dr. Daniel Carroll Rodas (Baker Academic, 2008, 2013; also available in Spanish as Cristianos en La Frontera)
  • Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission, by Dr. J.D. Payne (InterVarsity Press, 2012)
  • Diaspora Missiology: Theory, Methodology and Practice, edited by Dr. Enoch Wan (Institute of Diaspora Studies, 2011)
  • The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity, by Dr. Soong-Chan Rah (InterVarsity Press, 2009) Learning Resources
  • “I Was a Stranger” Challenge bookmarks available for free download or for purchase in paper form at iwasastranger
  • “Immigration by the Numbers” Fact Sheet, available at http://
  • “Welcoming the Stranger: Discovering and Living God’s Heart for Immigrants” Learning Group Guide, from World Relief and the National Association of Evangelicals, available free for download or for purchase in printed form at Video Resources
  • G92 Conference video series, featuring Dr. Daniel Carroll, Matthew Soerens, Stephan Bauman, and others:
  • Urban Entry “Send These” video, available at index.php/videos/ue4-send-these/about

Listing of books and resources from:

Immigrants in Florida

Florida has long been home to a large number of immigrants, many of whom hail from the Caribbean. One in five residents in the state was born in another country. Together, immigrants make up more than a quarter of Florida’s labor force. As neighbors, business owners, taxpayers, and workers, immigrants are an integral part of Florida’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

  • More than one in five Florida residents is an immigrant, while one in eight residents are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.
  • In 2018, 4.5 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 21 percent of the population.
  • Florida was home to 2.2 million women, 2 million men, and 247,316 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Cuba (23 percent of immigrants), Haiti (8 percent), Colombia (6 percent), Mexico (6 percent), and Jamaica (5 percent).
  • In 2018, 2.7 million people in Florida (13 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.
  • More than half of all immigrants in Florida are naturalized U.S. citizens.
  • 2.5 million immigrants (57 percent) had naturalized as of 2018, and 759,614 million immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2017.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”
  • Immigrants in Florida are distributed across the educational spectrum.
  • More one-quarter (29 percent) of adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2018, while one-fifth (20 percent) had less than a high school diploma. 


Education Level Share (%) of All Immigrants Share (%) of All Natives
College degree or more 29 31
Some college 23 32
High school diploma only 28 29
Less than a high school diploma 20 9
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.


  • More than 425,000 U.S. citizens in Florida live with at least one family member who is undocumented.
  • 775,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 18 percent of the immigrant population and 4 percent of the total state population in 2016.
  • 909,104 people in Florida, including 425,814 U.S. citizens, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, about 7 percent of children in the state were U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member (280,133 children in total).
  • Florida is home to more than 24,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
  • 24,810 active DACA recipients lived in Florida as of March 2020, while DACA has been granted to 32,646 people in total since 2012.11F
  • As of 2019, 33 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants in Florida had applied for DACA.12F
  • An additional 18,000 residents of the state would satisfy all but the educational requirements for DACA, and fewer than 2,000 would become eligible as they grew older.13F
  • One in four workers in Florida is an immigrant, together making up a vital part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries.
  • 2.7 million immigrant workers comprised 26 percent of the labor force in 2018.
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:


Industry Number of Immigrant Workers
Health Care and Social Assistance 417,067
Retail Trade 347,298
Construction 305,888
Accommodation and Food Services 290,074
Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services 221,268
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.


  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:


Industry Immigrant Share (%)
(of all industry workers)
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 41
Construction 34
Transportation and Warehousing 31
Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services 30
Other Services (except Public Administration) 30
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.


  • Immigrants are an integral part of the Florida workforce in a range of occupations.
  • In 2018, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:


Occupation Category Number of Immigrant Workers
Sales and Related 330,850
Office and Administrative Support 294,741
Management 269,513
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance 261,770
Construction and Extraction 251,958
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.


  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:


Occupation Category Immigrant Share (%)
(of all workers in occupation)
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry 49
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance 44
Construction and Extraction 38
Healthcare Support 35
Production 30
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.


  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 6 percent of Florida’s workforce in 2016.
  • Immigrants in Florida have contributed tens of billions of dollars in taxes.
  • Immigrant-led households in the state paid $23.2 billion in federal taxes and $8.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2018.
  • Undocumented immigrants in Florida paid an estimated $1.3 billion in federal taxes and $588.3 million in state and local taxes in 2018.
  • Florida DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $77.6 million in state and local taxes in 2018.
  • As consumers, immigrants add nearly one-hundred billion dollars to Florida’s economy.
  • Florida residents in immigrant-led households had $98.5 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs in Florida generate billions of dollars in business revenue.
  • 437,690 immigrant business owners accounted for 33 percent of all self-employed Florida residents in 2018 and generated $7.1 billion in business income.
  • In the following Florida metropolitan areas in 2018, at least one in five business owners was an immigrant. Immigrants accounted for:
    • 57 percent of business owners in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach metro area,
    • 36 percent in Orlando,
    • 29 percent in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater,
    • 20 percent in Jacksonville.

More information, opportunities, and resources: click below
Immigrant Ministry
Migrant Ministries
International Travelers Ministries
Human trafficking ministries
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